First-rate child care honored in Baumholder
Beonca Sims keeps Aiden Urquhart entertained in the baby room during his stay at Baumholder's Wetzel Child Development Center.

BAUMHOLDER, Germany - After nearly two years of rigorous preparation, training and a fine-tooth comb inspection, Baumholder's Wetzel Child Development Center has earned its badge of quality.
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The center earned accreditation by the Washington, D.C.-based National Association for the Education of Young Children.
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Lt. Col. Paul Pfahler, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder commander, honored center employees Oct. 22 for their hard work. Pfahler presented certificates, USAG Baumholder Command Sgt. Maj. Earla Reddock presented pins and Greg Galloway, director of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, passed out flowers to all of the honorees.
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Smith Child Development Center earned accreditation earlier this year.
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"NAEYC has been around since 1926 striving to improve early childhood education," said Christine Smith, training and curriculum specialist. "The DA (Department of the Army) child care centers have that same goal. The NAEYC accreditation process will always result in quality improvement beginning with the self-study process. Whether a program achieves accreditation status or not, the process and commitment to that process invariably yields a better program."
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The Army requires all child development centers worldwide to go through the accreditation process.
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"It is a system that's in place in any center that serves children 0-8 years old, and in this case 0-5, and says you will meet standards that are above those that are minimum, either provided by your governing agency, your state agency, your regulating agency and in our case the Army," said Smith.
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The process is very rigorous and labor intensive, she added. Accreditation is a badge of quality for the CDC.
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"The accreditation system is comprehensive and labor intensive. The 10 program standards and over 400 criteria define what an early childhood program should be," she said. "As their trainer, I am profoundly proud of each member of the Wetzel CDC staff. It was a learning journey for all. It resulted in professional growth and benefited the children and families in our program."
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To earn NAEYC accreditation the Wetzel and Smith CDCs each completed an extensive self-study process, measuring their programs and services against the 10 new NAEYC Early Childhood Program standards and the more than 400 related accreditation criteria.
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Wetzel and Smith CDCs received NAEYC accreditation after on-site visits by NAEYC assessors to ensure the program met each of the 10 NAEYC program standards, such as teaching, leadership and management.
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NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.
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The Wetzel staff's dedication to better serving military families was impressive, leaders said. "That commitment began more than 18 months ago, and despite deployment, staff shortages and an ever-growing mission, they were successful with support from the CYSS (Child, Youth and School Services) staff and our Wetzel families," said Smith.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16