PBS NC and Children’s Council Recognize Local Early Childhood Care and Education Providers

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, PBS NC and the Watauga County Children’s Council will recognize local early care and education programs that go above and beyond to provide high quality care to children enrolled in their programs.

Early care and education programs that will be recognized are enrolled in the Pathways to Accreditation program and receive specialized technical assistance, ongoing coaching and mentoring. The Pathways to Accreditation program supports principals and teachers in creating high-quality early learning environments for young children enrolled in their programs.

“The COVID pandemic has been particularly challenging for this industry,” says Elisha Childers, executive director of the Children’s Council. “When we got the call from PBS NC a few months ago saying they wanted to recognize our local vendors and offer them a professional development workshop and dinner, we were thrilled! The timing is perfect because, even considering setbacks of the pandemic, we have incredible providers who have not taken their eyes off and have remained committed to their work to provide a higher standard of care for children.Several of the programs have achieved the accreditation standards set by our Pathways to Accreditation program, and it gives us the perfect opportunity to recognize them.

The Pathways to Accreditation program was launched in 2019 by the Children’s Council and is based on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for early childhood care and education programs. The program focuses on eight standards: Relationships with Children, Leadership and Management, Family Partnerships, Curriculum, Developmentally Appropriate Teaching Practices, Indoor and Outdoor Environments, Child Assessment, Healthy Living, Relationships community and behavioral support.

The goal of the Pathways to Accreditation program is to provide ongoing support to early childhood educators to improve the quality of early childhood care settings by increasing positive teacher-child interactions, developmentally appropriate practices, and professionalism. early childhood care staff. “It’s a prestigious achievement to be accredited,” says Hunter Varipapa, director of early years and education at the Children’s Council. “Our trained staff provide high quality training, mentoring and professional development to help suppliers meet these higher standards. We are so proud of our local suppliers.

There are 20 licensed child care programs in Watauga County. The following programs have accepted the challenge to meet a higher standard of care and are enrolled in the Pathways to Accreditation program: Appalachian State University Child Development Center, Sugar Grove Developmental Day School, Lynhill Child Development Center, Merry-land Academy, Mountain Pathways Montessori School, Sunnyside Day Care, Western TLC Headstart, the eight NC Pre-K elementary schools sites, and the following family daycares: Little Jewels, Someplace Special, Small Blessings, and Precious and Few. Although some programs are more advanced than others in meeting all accreditation standards, the directors and providers of these early learning centers are making concerted efforts to improve their knowledge, increase their education, and implement implement practices that result in better quality care and early childhood education for children.

In addition to dinner, fun, recognition and giveaways, the PBS NC team will be offering a workshop from the Rootle PBS KIDS playful learning workshop series, which will earn vendors significant training credits continues for their profession. April 12and, the PBS NC team will also offer a similar workshop for parents, caregivers and providers, believing that it is important that providers and parents have the same information so that activities and strategies that contribute to the positive development of the child in the early childhood class can be reinforced. at home. These workshops are made possible by grant number 90TP0056-03-00 from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, supported by the Preschool Development Grant Initiative Birth through Five (CEO B-5). Its contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


The Watauga County Children’s Council has served the children and families of Watauga County for forty-five years. The mission is to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development by strengthening families, the early childhood system and the community. To learn more, visit www.thechildrenscouncil.org or visit us at 225 Birch Street, Suite 2 Boone, NC 28607.

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