Quality Rated Announces First Child Care Program to Receive Inclusion Endorsement

The D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center at Gwinnett Technical College has just made history as the first to receive Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement in Georgia. By achieving this special endorsement, the Hudgens Center, located at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, has proven its commitment and ability to provide high quality inclusive environments to all children in their community, especially children with special needs.

Situated on the Gwinnett Tech Campus in a 26,000-square-foot, two story-facility with state-of-the-art communications and security features, the Hudgens Center opened in August 2006. With small class sizes and low teacher-to-child ratios, the Hudgens Early Education Center offers a well-planned, play-based environment and is staffed by highly-educated, experienced teachers. The center is also the lab school for the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Gwinnett Tech.

Quality Rated is Georgia’s tiered quality rating and improvement system, and is similar to rating systems for other service industries like restaurants and hotels. Quality Rated is a way to assess, improve, and communicate to families and communities the level of quality provided by early education programs.

After completing the Quality Rated process, early care and education programs receive a rating of one, two, or three stars. Only two and three star programs are eligible to seek the Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement. The D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center earned a two star quality rating, after which it began pursuing the new Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement.

A child care program seeking the Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement first receives a baseline assessment using the Inclusive Classroom Profile, an observation scale from one to seven that assesses the quality of provisions and daily practices that support the developmental needs of children with disabilities in early childhood settings. After a baseline is established, the child care program receives free targeted technical assistance from Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). If the child care program scores above a five on the baseline or reassessment, the child care program receives the Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement.

“The Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement is a significant step in ensuring that child care programs and teachers are equipped to serve children from all backgrounds and needs in their classrooms,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs. “I am extremely proud of the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center for being the first child care program in Georgia to receive the Quality Rated Inclusion Endorsement and for receiving above a five on their baseline, leading them to automatically receive the endorsement.”

“We are so honored to be the first program to have earned the Quality Rated Inclusion endorsement,” said Rebecca Olson, Director of the D. Scott Hudgens Jr. Early Education Center. “It is a wonderful testament to the work our teachers and staff do each day to meet the needs of ALL children. It is also a powerful example for our Early Childhood Care and Education students here at Gwinnett Tech about the importance of providing inclusive care and learning environments for children from birth to five.”

The Hudgens Center, which has space for more than 200 children, serves children ages six weeks to eight years, offering fulltime infant, toddler and preschool programs, Georgia Pre-K classes, summer camp and Pre-K Extended Learning.

For more information on enrollment, email hudgens@gwinnetttech.edu or call 678-226-6510.

December 15, 2015