Past Recipients of the Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award
2021 Recipients: Irma’s Child Care and Discovery Preschool
After completing an Environment Rating Scale assessment, a thread Professional Development Specialist worked with Irma’s Child Care, pre-COVID, to organize, categorize and rearrange her family home learning environment. As a result, this Anchorage program moved from Learn & Grow Level 1 to Level 2 in the past year, improving the quality of her program in a pandemic!
Irma also completed more than 90 hours of training hours, including attending workshops on COVID-19 mitigation planning.
As her nominator shared, “Irma has grown as a female business owner, increased her program’s quality and understands the effect of this on her children in care. She is an advocate, continuous learner and a leader in the bilingual family child care group. Her dedication is especially inspiring during COVID.”
Rosemary Williams took over as the owner/administrator of Discovery Preschool in Juneau in December 2019, just months before the pandemic outbreak. She had worked at Discovery Preschool earlier in her early childhood career and was excited to return as owner in order to support the children and staff. As a Learn & Grow Level 2 program, Williams knows the importance of supporting her staff – at all times — in order to provide continuity of care to the children in her program.
During COVID, she has invested more time and resources to ensuring her staff has professional development to help and support them in their jobs, and also found time to earn her Administrator credential.
This program’s nominator said she “is always standing up for her peers and staff — eager to help and support them in any way she can. She’s amazing, and so very deserving.”
2020 Recipients: Carousel Child Care Center and Denali Preschool and Learning Center
For 30 years Carousel Child Care Center has served low income children and families in Anchorage. This Learn & Grow program is intentionally planning and investing in its continuous quality improvement activities, including a focus on wellness and professional development for both the administrative and teaching staff. The focus on staff development has resulted in improved learning environments, more individual child support/skill building and increased parent engagement, involving families in a range of activities–from holiday celebrations to hat and glove drives. The program has also received funding to improve its building and is upgrading its learning environments to improve its quality of care.
Pictured from left: thread COO Melinda Myers, thread Board President Sen Tan, and Carousel Child Care Center Administrator Sean Shawcross.
Denali Preschool and Learning Center is the only licensed center serving Healy and the surrounding Denali Borough area. Administrator Deena Cook has exemplified herself as a supportive and responsive leader, ensuring the program works to improve the quality of care through their active participation in Learn & Grow. Their quality activities have focused on staff development. All staff are enrolled in Alaska SEED and either have obtained or are working on their CDA, as well as building appropriate and responsive environments that are stimulating, engaging and intentional. Recently more multicultural and science related curriculum was incorporated into the preschool classroom while designated interest centers were introduced in the infant/toddler classroom.
Pictured from left: AEYC-SEA Executive Director Joy Lyon, thread COO Melinda Myers, thread Board President Sen Tan, Denali Preschool Program Administrator Deena Cook, and thread Northern/Interior Assistant Director Stacie Dublin.
2019 Recipient: Little Hands Bilingual Montessori Daycare
The recipient of thread’s 2019 Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award is Little Hands Bilingual Montessori Daycare (BMD) in Anchorage, Alaska. Little Hands BMD is owned by Janet Cerdena Bryant who received this year’s award.
Through this award, thread is recognizing the center for its commitment to continuous quality improvement. Teaching its children both English and Spanish, Little Hands BMD celebrates diversity of its families and fosters cultural activities throughout the year, encouraging parents to be active participants. Little Hands BMD further demonstrates its dedication to improvement by its voluntary enrollment and active participation in Learn & Grow, Alaska’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).
Pictured from left are thread Board member Starr Marsett, recipient Janet Cerdena Bryant thread Board President Sen K. Tan, and Stephanie Berglund, thread CEO.
2018 Recipient: Center for Child Development (CCD) at Providence Alaska Medical Center
The recipient of thread’s 2018 Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award is the Center for Child Development (CCD) at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. The CCD was developed by the Sisters of Providence to provide quality child developmental services to employees, physicians, and community partners of Providence Health & Services Alaska. We recognize Providence CCD for its commitment to continuous quality improvement and working to advance its leadership, professional development of staff, engagement of families in programming, and development of strong relationships in a quality learning environment. Providence CCD further demonstrates its dedication to improvement by its voluntary enrollment and active participation in Learn & Grow, Alaska’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS). In 2017, Providence CCD became the first program in the state to achieve a Level 2 in Learn & Grow.
Pictured, left to right, are thread CEO Stephanie Berglund, thread Board member Lindsie Mills, Providence CDC staff member Brandy Graham, Providence CDC Executive Director Chris Jurenka, Providence CDC staff member Kristen Stearns, and thread Board Vice President Sen Tan.
2017 Recipient: Enep’ut Children’s Center
The inaugural recipient for the 2017 Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award is Enep’ut Children’s Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Enep’ut is a Yup’ik word meaning “our house.” Founded with Native Alaskan beliefs, babies and children are respected and nurtured to encourage development into productive members of the community. With an open door policy, parents are encouraged to participate in program meetings, share ideas and spend time with their children in the facility, creating a positive home environment. Everyone is encouraged to have a voice and participate in all aspects of the learning process. Communication is key, and the staff at Enep’ut is always available for parents and children alike.
Enep’ut Children’s Center is committed to engaging in continuous quality improvement, as demonstrated by their enrollment and active participation
in Learn & Grow. They are working to advance administration and leadership, professional development of staff, engaging families in programming, and developing stronger relationships in a quality learning environment. The staff and administration work hard to ensure that not only is each child learning and growing, but they are also learning and growing themselves. Each member of the staff has obtained or is working towards their CDA Credential, a nationally awarded and recognized credential in the field of early care and learning.
Pictured are Stacie Dublin (left) and Tracey Adams (right) with Carrie Grafft, Administrative Director for Enep’ut Children’s Center in Fairbanks.
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