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Seeds of Learning earns NAEYC accreditation

We did it!

Seeds of Learning has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood educators.

Approximately eight percent of childcare centers in America are accredited and Seeds is the first in the southwest corner. Seeds of Learning is a stand-alone non-profit and has been serving Archuleta County for over 13 years. In 2007, the program moved into a brand new building and the rest is history. With a brand new facility, degreed teachers and nationally-acclaimed curriculum, Michelle Carroll, program director, kicked off the lengthy accreditation process. In January 2010, Seeds started an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program standards that included more than 400 related accreditation criteria. Seeds received NAEYC accreditation Aug. 11, after an onsite visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure the program met each of the 10 program standards.

What does Seeds accreditation status mean to the community of Pagosa Springs?

By providing a high-quality early care and education program to all families in Archuleta County, Seeds of Learning is providing a fundamental commodity that is necessary for stable and forward-moving economic development. Before moving to Archuleta County, families need to know they will have affordable, reliable, and high quality childcare. Without it, families will not relocate or stay in our beautiful mountain town. Over $100,000 in grant money is awarded to Seeds annually, money put back into the Archuleta County economy. When the new facility was built, approximately $1.3 million was brought into the county for the construction phase. By employing 14 full- and part-time teachers and staff, Seeds is contributing to the work force of Archuleta County.

What does Seeds accreditation status mean to the children and families of Archuleta County? By meeting the 10 NAEYC standards, parents know that they are making the right choice choosing Seeds, a high-quality early care and education program, for their child. Families will find a program that focuses on relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment, health, families and community relationships, just to name a few. Seeds of Learning focuses on the whole child, as well as their family.

Seeds currently serves approximately 80 percent low income families. The average cognitive score of preschool-aged children in the lowest socioeconomic group are 60-percent lower than the average scores of children in the highest socioeconomic group. These achievement gaps in academic achievement and school performance are significant at school-entry level, sometimes more than a year’s difference. It has been well established that high-quality early education is a cost-effective method of improving the long-term educational and social outcomes for children living in poverty. (Espinosa, 2010, High/Scope Perry Preschool Study, Professor of Economics, James Heckman). Seeds of Learning is changing the lives of children.

Seeds of Learning is making a difference for children, their families and Archuleta County.

We will celebrate our accreditation achievement Oct. 15 at Pagosa Brewing Co. Please join us.

If you’d like to learn more about Seeds of Learning, visit our website at www.growingseeds.org or call Lynne Bridges at 264-5513.

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