Profiles in Learn & Grow:
Moving Towards High-Quality Early Childhood Education
There’s a powerful shift happening in early childhood education programs across the state of Alaska.
More than 130 programs are voluntarily engaged in Learn & Grow, Alaska’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System, in order to improve the quality of their program. By participating in Learn & Grow, these programs are making a difference for young children and families by giving them a high-quality early childhood education experience — and a strong start in life!
Little Stars Daycare
Family Home Program | Juneau, AK
Learn & Grow since: 2015
Little Stars Daycare was established by Angelina Asaad and she has been managing her successful child care business for several years. Asaad’s home-based child care program has a licensed capacity for up to 8 children and offers services for ages 0 to 12 years old. Little Stars participates in the child care assistance program, making this program both affordable and playful.
Why Learn & Grow?
Little Stars Daycare has been participating in Learn & Grow since 2015, and is currently a Level 2 program. Initially, Asaad chose to work with Learn & Grow because as a mom, businesswoman and child care provider she understood the benefits of providing quality care to young children. Over the years she has put this idea into practice.
As a result of the trainings and support her program has received through Learn & Grow, Assad and her staff have grown tremendously. “I now have a better understanding of how children’s minds develop and have acquired a number of skills that have helped the children in my program grow and set themselves up for success in the future.” One of the largest changes is that her staff are more creative and analytic when planning and doing activities or problem solving with the children.
Asaad mentions another significant change is evident in their parent interaction. “Parents love bringing their children here because they see how much fun they have, how much they learn and how they have become so disciplined in my program.” Asaad understands that quality is very important for her program because “we as providers know that we can make a highly positive impact on the development of young children.”
Learn & Grow Participation during COVID-19
Asaad mentions that her program has benefitted tremendously from participating in Learn & Grow, specifically from the trainings and financial support. During COVID’s uncertainty, the Learn & Grow team has supported her and her staff by answering questions, providing cleaning materials, and checking in on them. She notes the pandemic’s devastating effects on human health and the negative impact on the economy in Alaska. “Learn & Grow has given me tools necessary to prevent these hardships from happening in my program.”
Looking Ahead – Staying Engaged in Quality
Asaad recently achieved Learn & Grow Level 2 and is currently working towards Level 3. She is also working on obtaining her CDA certificate. Asaad will continue to deliver quality care in Little Stars Daycare. “Parents expect child care programs to be reliable, affordable, understandable, and to give them the ability to re-enter the workforce without worry. All of these factors will continue to be a driver for my program to be recognized as quality child care.”