Area Child Care providers receive free curriculum kits; supporting area Kindergarten readiness

Over 50 in-home child care providers are receiving free curriculum this school year which supports Kindergarten readiness for our area’s children.  Thanks to a partnership between Partner for Student Success, Milestones, and Mother Goose Time, early learning curriculum, materials, and assessments will be distributed and shared with children in the greater St. Cloud area.

The initiative emerges through a partnership opportunity and data collected by Partner for Student Success which focuses on improving Kindergarten readiness. Based on data, there is a need most notably in the area of math. Currently, only 30% of students within the St. Cloud Area, Sartell-St. Stephen, and Sauk Rapids-Rice School Districts are starting Kindergarten with the math skills needed. Over 290 children ages 5 and younger will be taught, using the curriculum which aligns with the state-approved Early Childhood Indicators of Progress.

Providers meet quarterly to receive training, provide feedback and evaluations on curriculum for continuous improvement, and engage in discussion with other providers on implementation and best practices. “We are overwhelmed with the excitement and passion we have seen from our child care providers,” says Marcia Schlattman, program manager at Milestones. “One email was sent and the program was filled to capacity with providers eager to deliver this opportunity to their children.  We even have a waiting list should we be able to secure more curriculum.”

The group of providers has even started a Facebook group to share ideas, support further professional development, and provide updates about lessons.  Erin Pluimer, one of the pilot participants who also started the Facebook group, says, “I am loving the Mother Goose Time (MGT) Preschool curriculum.  I have been creating my own curriculum the last several years and it’s overwhelming and time consuming.  MGT makes it so easy with their monthly pre-packaged boxes.  It’s like opening a gift every month! The kids are loving the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) stations. I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this pilot program.”

“With over 50 of our in-home child care providers supporting each other with an aligned curriculum, we are anticipating children being more prepared for Kindergarten,” says Adam O’Doherty, Executive Director of Partner for Student Success. We couldn’t have made this possible without many of our partners working together to support common goals for children in the greater St. Cloud area. We also need to thank DeZURIK of Sartell which provided space for storing the over 450 boxes of preschool curriculum and Northfield Promise for connecting us with this opportunity. 

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