The Dyersville Kid Project Community Child Care Center has recently received a four-star rating in Iowa’s Quality Rating System, or “QRS”.
The Kid Project is an initiative of the Dyersville Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The Dyersville foundation started The Kid Project in the 1980s and has overseen the center since then.
“The center has been an integral part of our community for a long time. Parents know that they continually strive for excellence,” said Jeanne Coppola, a retired teacher and long-time member of Dyersville Area Community Foundation’s advisory board. “Achieving the four-star QRS rating adds to the peace of mind that parents have when choosing a safe place for their children.”
QRS has five levels, indicated by number of stars. Child care centers with two stars meet state requirements for licensing, including conducting criminal and child abuse record checks, working with a child care nurse consultant, providing staff orientation and assessing the skills of staff. Those with three stars or more have earned additional credit for education and experience, training, health and safety compliance, and working with parents. Most importantly, by participating in QRS, child care programs demonstrate a desire to improve the quality of care and education their children receive.
Research shows that quality child care programs — measured by caregiver behavior and characteristics, physical facilities and age-appropriate activities — have lifelong positive effects on cognitive and social skills, including improved language and math skills.
“Not only do the staff of The Kid Project work at the center for their love of children, they also have a passion for early childhood education — which is evident in the longevity of staff. Eight of our staff have been with the center for over 10 years, and three for over five years,” said Barb Maiers, director of The Kid Project.“Staff go above and beyond the minimum requirements set by the Department of Human Services to ensure that quality care is given to the children we serve.”
“We know that the ability to find high-quality child care directly impacts the workforce and thus the quality of life in a community. In a study conducted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, almost half of respondents had turned down work due to lack of child care or lack of affordable or quality child care,” said Shirley Templeton Vaughn, Community Initiatives Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “The Dyersville area is very fortunate to have The Kid Project as a reliable resource.”