Child care centers in Aldine complete College Bound from Birth program

After three years of hard work, four child care centers in Houston's Aldine neighborhood have completed Collaborative for Children's College Bound from Birth program. The program is a voluntary, three-year intensive quality improvement effort that raises the quality of child care offered by participating centers. 

In 2015, All-Stars Daycare & Preschool, Alpha Academy 1, Alpha Academy 2, and Young and Gifted Learning Center began their College Bound from Birth journey alongside consultants, mentors and trainers from Collaborative for Children. Over the course of the three years, center directors and their classroom teachers received coaching, mentoring and professional development resulting in improved quality. Cynthia Miranda, director of Alpha Academy says parents have noticed the changes. "They go to other centers and then they come to my center and they see the curriculum, the [learning] centers that they're doing from morning to the end. It's learning all the time," Cynthia said. 

Highlights of the program include: 

  • Center directors received more than 375 hours of coaching and mentoring, and more than 426 hours of professional development.
  • All four center directors earned their National Director Credential through Aim4Excellence, an intensive nine-module, 144-hour credentialing program.
  • Classroom teachers at the four centers received more than 1,304 hours of professional development, and more than 847 hours of on-site coaching and mentoring.
  • Thirteen teachers earned their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, an intensive and highly-regarded national credential for early childhood educators. 
  • Centers provided 19 parenting education sessions to families at the child care centers, and reached 369 families through family activity and resource nights. 
  • Each participating center opened a Parent Library on-site to make parent resources and books for parents and children available to families at the centers. 

Program success is measured on nationally recognized rating scales, including the Program Administration Scale, the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale. The Aldine centers achieved remarkable improvement on all scales in just three years. Highlights include: 

  • Staff Orientation scores on the Program Administration Scale improved from 1.8 to 6.0 (out of 7).
  • Staff Development scores on the Program Administration Scale improved from 3.5 to 5.0 (out of 7). 
  • Internal Communications scores on the Program Administration Scale improved from 1.0 to 4.25 (out of 7). 
  • Parental Involvement scores on the Program Administration Scale improved from 3.5 to 5.3 (out of 7).
  • Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale averages improved from 3.4 to 5.4 (out of 7). 
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale averages improved from 3.4 to 4.3 (out of 7). 

Participants celebrated their completion of the College Bound from Birth program with a recognition ceremony. Center directors, their teachers and Collaborative for Children program staff were in attendance to offer their congratulations to the educators for their hard work. "Today we celebrate the commitment to high quality early childhood that is now the hallmark of each of these centers," said Ray Mondragon, vice president of programs for Collaborative for Children. "We celebrate the availability of quality care not only to the current families at these centers, but to future families in Aldine who deserve the very best in early childhood education for their children," he said. 

Collaborative for Children currently operates the College Bound from Birth program in three additional neighborhoods of Third Ward, Greater Northside, and Gulfton/Sharpstown, with plans to expand the program to more child care centers across Houston by 2020.