Delano Union School District’s Fremont Child Care preschool was honored by the Kern Early Stars quality rating and improvement program during its annual Rating Celebration held Friday night at Bakersfield’s Larry E. Reider Center.
The celebration, co-sponsored with Kern Early Stars by First 5 Kern and the Early Childhood Council of Kern, feted the accomplishments of preschool and child care providers including state preschool programs, family child care homes and private preschool and day care centers, during the first year of their journeys during the 2018-2019 year to provide children and families with enhanced care and education.
According to Kern Early Stars’ website, the organization uses a Quality Rating and Improvement System program model developed by a statewide consortium of early childhood education representatives. Kern Early Stars is now able to bring training and resources to teachers and directors working in child development programs, as well as family child care providers, throughout Kern County.
Programs are rated on a seven-component matrix, with each component receiving a range from one (low) to five (high) point value. Scores are combined to determine whether programs receive from one to five stars. Of the 71 participating Kern County programs during 2018-2019, 26 percent received two stars, 36 percent received three stars, 26 percent received four stars and 12 percent received the top five stars.
Fremont’s hard work earned its center, which is headed by site supervisor Lorena Valenzuela, a five-star rating.
Each participating center and family child care home is provided the services of a coach who is experienced in early childhood programs to help the providers accomplish the goals that they set for themselves. The district’s centers are coached by Shannon Vernon, who came to Kern Early Stars as a coach after working in private and public preschool and day care programs in Kern County. Assessments that are used to assist programs include the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale and the CLASS assessment (which examines teacher-child and staff-child interactions in the classroom).
“Fremont and Lorena rocked both the ECRS and CLASS,” Vernon said during her presentation of Fremont at the celebration.
Fremont is the sixth of the district’s child development centers which have entered the Kern Early Stars program. Albany Park II Preschool entered the county program this school year and will receive its first rating score by the end of the school year.
Also honored at the celebration were the Delano family child care homes of Elida Cruz and Laura Lopez.