College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Instruction and Curriculum Leadership

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RSG

What Is It?

Ready, Set, Grow! (RSG) is an accreditation facilitation project funded by The Plough Foundation.

RSG mobilizes leaders in business, government, education and the childcare community of Memphis around the common purpose that every young child in Shelby County cared for outside of his or her home receives the highest quality care and education.

Why It Was Created?

Today, in excess of 70 percent of young children regularly attend non-parental childcare and early education settings. Numerous studies point to the fact that early childhood development as measured in cognitive, social, and emotional school readiness is a key indicator for social and academic success later in life. These indicators can be significantly improved by ensuring children are in high quality early learning experiences.

A key RSG strategy is to enhance the quality childcare centers, using a national standard as set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which, in turn, will raise community awareness of and demand for high quality childcare in Shelby County. RSG enables directors and staff of programs for young children to implement a self-study process, improvement plan, and documentation of practice. This process results in accreditation by NAEYC.

Who Does It Benefit?

First, and foremost, the primary beneficiaries of the RSG program are Shelby County's children. The information gleaned from this program benefits the entire community by recognizing quality childcare as a community's highest priority which the children of Shelby County so richly deserve.

How Do I Become A Part of RSG?

Call the RSG office at 678-3517 to determine when the next group of directors will begin the accreditation process.  You may view the RSG application at Program Application and Board of Directors/Owners Statement of Understanding.

Academic Program

Ready, Set, Grow! is an accreditation facilitation project funded by the Plough Foundation. Early childhood accreditation is awarded to programs by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In order to achieve accreditation, programs have to engage in a voluntary, rigorous self-study, make improvements, be visited by an assessor, be reviewed by a national commission and judged to be in compliance with the high quality standards set by NAEYC.

Part of the preparation for accreditation is to ensure that the center’s director meets all of the program administrator qualifications. Among these is that the director has to have had nine college credit hours in leadership and management of early childhood programs. RSG! will support the director in taking these three classes at the University of Memphis. Seventy-five to 85% of the tuition may be paid for with a scholarship from TECTA provided the director attends a no-cost orientation of 30 hours.

The director must also have had a concentration of course work in early childhood education or a closely related field and NAEYC has identified several pathways to achieve this particular requirement. RSG! will guide the director through these requirements and provide networking opportunities.

RSG! offers support in beginning the accreditation process, depending on the readiness of the center. Centers can apply for funding through NAEYC and TECTA to pay for self-study materials, as well as other accreditation fees. Our staff will help directors plan timelines, understand criteria, and the accreditation process.

NAEYC accreditation standards are substantially more comprehensive than licensing standards. While the accreditation process examines the total program, emphasis is placed on the quality of interactions among teachers and children and quality of the program’s curriculum. Accreditation also helps families identify high-quality programs. The Ready, Set, Grow! Initiative was created to help more programs achieve the highest level of quality in Shelby County.

Examples of these standards

10.E.07 – Staff are provided space and time away from children during the day. When staff work directly with children for more than four hours, staff are provided breaks of at least 15 minutes in each four hour period. 10.B.12 – The maximum recommended staff child ratios for children 12 to 28 months is 1:4; for children 2 to 3 years old the ratio is 1:9; and for 4 and 5 year olds the ratio is 1:10.

Mentoring & Technical Assistance

Directors of accredited centers in Shelby County provide mentoring and support to the RSG program and to the RSG directors of child care centers enrolled in the program. Accredited center directors share their time and expertise regarding the self-study process and specialized areas of working with young children and their families. Participants also receive on-site technical assistance.

Directors receive a monthly newsletter and also have an opportunity to attend monthly meetings where they not only receive up to date training and assistance, but also have a chance to share concerns as well as network with other directors.

Directors' Networking

Directors receive a monthly newsletter and also have an opportunity to attend monthly meetings where they not only receive up to date training and assistance but have a chance to share concerns as well as network with other directors.

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Last Updated: 2/1/12