In 2017, Muncie Community Schools (MCS), Huffer CCR&R, and BY5 came together in a unique opportunity funded by the George and Frances Ball Foundation to expand MCS’s pre-school offerings. Research shows that high-quality early learning experiences can have positive effects on school readiness, and that’s what the MCS pre-school project set out to do—provide more children access to high-quality pre-school.
2018 saw the pre-school partnership between these entities become a reality. Since the beginning of the year, the MCS pre-school classrooms—which exist at Grissom, South View, East Washington Academy, and Muncie Area Career Center—have filled. As of November 2018, all are rated as Paths to QUALITY Level 3 Centers.
What is Paths to QUALITY?
According to childcareindiana.org, Paths to QUALITY is Indiana’s voluntary rating system for early care and education programs. It is a free resource to help families make informed decisions and to help early care and education providers improve the quality of their programs.
From the beginning, BY5, MCS, and Huffer CCR&R worked together to ensure that all MCS classrooms were following the rating systems closely.
Why does Paths to QUALITY matter?
Centers that abide by the Paths to QUALITY rating system show that they are committed to the children in their care. Level 3 Centers—like the ones in MCS—must provide structured curriculum and enriching learning environments in addition to meeting basic safety requirements. This means that the Paths to QUALITY Level 3 classrooms in MCS are giving children a better chance to come to school ready.
How else is this partnership being supported?
Because each classroom is rated as a Paths to QUALITY Level 3 Center, this means that the classrooms are also eligible for reimbursement through the On My Way Pre-K program. Each time an eligible On-My-Way Pre-K student enrolls in an MCS pre-school classroom, the classroom receives a reimbursement that helps make the classroom sustainable.