Yavapai College’s childcare facility earns highest marks from Quality First
Yavapai College’s Del E. Webb Family Enrichment Center maintained its stature as one of the leading lights of quality childcare in Yavapai County and the state with the renewal of its five-star rating from Arizona’s childcare oversight program, Quality First.
“It’s a big deal,” FEC Director Virginia Hout explained. “Not only because Quality First is a recognized, state-wide rating system. But the rating also allows us access to scholarships, materials, and professional development resources.”
A five-star rating – the highest rating attainable – maintains the level of childcare excellence that has been the hallmark of the Family Enrichment Center’s fifteen-year history. Founded in 2007, Yavapai College’s Del E. Webb Family Enrichment Center was created to be a safe, child-centered program that trained early childhood educators as it focused on nurturing young minds and promoting children’s learning.
Quality First reviews its ratings every two years. A division of First Things First, the state of Arizona’s Early Childhood Health and Development Agency, Quality First partners with more than 1,000 of Arizona’s early childhood providers to support and raise the level of childcare across the state. Hout said the FEC’s review, delayed by COVID, was nonetheless a rigorous one.
“It was very hands-on, with two site visits,” she said. “They look at the physical environment, and the learning materials. But the heart of it is teacher-child relationships and what they see from real-time observation in the classroom.”
The renewal marks a banner year for the Family Enrichment Center, coming just months after the FEC received accreditation from the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. Hout credits a great deal of the FEC’s success to its instructors, a combination of aspiring young educators and seasoned professionals. “We’re fortunate to have teachers with ten or twelve years of experience here, and that’s a great influence.” She said. “We also support our teachers with professional development and a living wage. That provides a stability that helps us educate the children and train the teachers of tomorrow.”
Quality First rates participating childcare providers across the state and their rankings and evaluations can be seen at (www.qualityfirstaz.com). For more information on Yavapai College’s Del E. Webb Family Enrichment Center, please call: (928) 776-2174.