Virginia Quality (VQ) is a free and voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System dedicated to improve the caliber of early childcare programs. As a director, I feel being part of VQ has tremendously impacted our preschool for the past six years. Our preschool strives to provide the best practices in early childhood education and I felt that VQ was able to help us achieve that goal. When making the decision to join VQ, our administration needed to evaluate how it would affect our preschool and families. After exploring the program, we were pleased to find that the benefits of joining VQ made the effort worthwhile.
Assessing the quality of our program and helping us to purposefully plan for our school’s future are just a few positive outcomes of being a part of VQ. Virginia Quality assisted us in creating a Quality Improvement Plan which gave us recommendations on the most effective areas to invest our time and energy into improving our school. Additionally, VQ provided our staff with many opportunities, including: education grants, training, technical assistance and professional development hours. These alone have given validity to all of the developmentally appropriate practices the teachers are doing in their classrooms with the research to back them up. The VQ staff is always available to help customize a plan that will fit with your program’s needs.
The VQ program staff has listened to the feedback from directors and teachers over the past several years. We were thrilled with the improvements that were made within the program, such as the ability for each school to achieve higher levels at their own pace. Directors select and control their own timeline throughout the process, which is extremely convenient given our busy daily schedules. Also, the application and forms have recently been placed online with the ability to save your information and come back to later. We are impressed by VQ’s commitment to improve not only our programs, but to improving their own as well.
Participating in the VQ program has given us a network of programs and professionals to help us achieve our yearly goals. We know that we are part of a bigger movement in the state and region which focuses on the importance of high quality care during our children’s critical developmental growth from ages 0-5. Locally, we have been offered opportunities to help be part of the solution through surveys, focus groups, task forces and network groups. Our preschool families have wanted to join in the effort and have planned ways to donate books and time to our community partners.
We feel that being a part of VQ has improved our communication and interactions with our families and students. Our families love that we are being held accountable and are holding ourselves to a higher standard. This has also brought more families to our center and is a huge part of our marketing campaign. Participating in VQ was a commitment we were ready to make as a school and in doing so, we demonstrated to our preschool families and the community that we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to their children!
To learn more, visit: www.virginiaquality.com