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State rolls out ratings for child care centers. How did your center fare?



In an attempt to help parents choose quality child care, the state of Georgia rolled out voluntary -rating system for child care centers today.

 The effort is starting small with around 200 of the state's 6,000 licensed centers rated thus far; 1,200 more have applied to be rated.

 Parents can see if their center is rated by going to www.qualityrated.org.

According to the AJC:

State officials are encouraging parents to ask the licensed provider who takes care of their children: Are you rated? If not, why not?

"We want parents to be aware of Quality Rated and use this information in selecting quality early education for their children,” said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Bright From the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Child care centers can earn a 1-, 2- or 3-star rating, with 3 being the best. Centers have to go above and beyond the health and safety standards required for state licensing and are rated based on points they derive from a portfolio, as well as an independent observation. If a center is rated, parents will be able to see specifics, such as class ratios, how the playground looked on a licensing visit, and whether any minor or major violations were noted.

Additional resources are available at each rating level: 1-star centers receive $5,000-$6,000 in supplies and materials; for 2-star centers, packages are worth $4,000-$5,000; 3-star centers receive funds to cover $250 bonuses for teachers, and a $500 bonus for the director.

In a move to ensure that children from low-income families have access to high-quality child care, the state will be offering child care providers other money as well. The government subsidizes child care for children from low-income families --- currently at about $74 a week. That subsidy will go up by 2 percent for 1-star rated centers, 5 percent for 2-star rated centers and 10 percent for 3-star rated centers.

In a move to ensure that children from low-income families have access to high-quality child care, the state will be offering child care providers other money as well. The government subsidizes child care for children from low-income families --- currently at about $74 a week. That subsidy will go up by 2 percent for 1-star rated centers, 5 percent for 2-star rated centers and 10 percent for 3-star rated centers.

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