“Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.” -Timothy 4:15
HopeCare continues to make progress in all aspects of our program. Our rooms are at the capacity we want them, our staffing is complete just in need of one float, and we continue to learn and grow. Developing and progressing our program has brought some struggles, growing pains, and hard truths to light; but with this light, our staff have grown stronger, more resilient, sounder, and steadfast in our mission.
Each of our rooms is going through the Sanford Children’s TA program. This program is a general technical assistance program that helps teachers manage their classrooms for the learners needs: social/emotional, language/literacy, cognitive development, and health/physical development. Each classroom has a trainer that works with them, meets with them, and assists them in giving our learners what they need. Once the classroom has completed the curriculum, they receive a certificate and the trainer is then available for maintenance with the class. Sprouts (ones) and Blooms (twos) are officially certified in the program. Caterpillars and Butterflies (infants), Shepherds (ages 3 to 5), and Disciples (school age) are all currently working on completing it.
Sanford Children’s has also been a great resource for educating our staff. Each employee is required to have continuing education hours each year. Because of our relationship, Sanford Children’s invited us to pilot the curriculum they are developing for the state of South Dakota. These programs are called ITERS-R (Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale), ECERS-R (Early Childhood environment rating scale), and SACERS (school age care environment rating scare). Those are a mouth full, right!? This program will be a first for South Dakota, leading to a rating scale for childcare based on 39 items in 7 subscales:
1. Space and furnishings
2. Personal care routines
3. Listening and talking
6. Program structure
7. Parents and staff
We consider it a HUGE compliment to be invited to participate in the pilot, and we are very excited to learn and develop our staff and program. Continuing to equip our staff with knowledge, expectations, resources, and encouragement further fills their tool belts, and reinforces our core values: Faith, Education, Safety, Love and Play.