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Child care center gets ‘quality-rate’ recognition

Special Photo 
Wande Okunoren-Meadows (l) is co-director at Little Ones Child Care Learning Center in Forest Park, which was recognized recently as one of the state’s first quality-rated programs. She is shown with First Lady Sandra Deal and Bright from the Start Commissioner Bobby Cagle.

Special Photo Wande Okunoren-Meadows (l) is co-director at Little Ones Child Care Learning Center in Forest Park, which was recognized recently as one of the state’s first quality-rated programs. She is shown with First Lady Sandra Deal and Bright from the Start Commissioner Bobby Cagle.

FOREST PARK — State recognition has been bestowed upon Little Ones Child Care Learning Center, deemed a “quality” center.

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning identified the center as one of five quality-rated programs in Clayton County.

Quality-rated is a state endeavor to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality in early education and school-age care programs. Centers participate voluntarily and are evaluated on a scale from one to three stars.

Little Ones Child Care directors Deloris Wright and Wande Okunoren-Meadows said they were excited about the news.

Okunoren-Meadows attended a ceremony Tuesday in Atlanta honoring the state’s quality-rated child care learning centers. She met with Gov. Nathan Deal, First Lady Sandra Deal and Bright from the Start Commissioner Bobby Cagle.

“Our center signed up for the program in January 2012 and submitted our portfolio to the state March 3,” she said. “On June 10, we were given the designation of a Two-Star Quality Rated Center. Three stars is the maximum rating. This was done on our first try.”

The center is at 993 Forest Ave. in Forest Park but it serves Clayton, Henry, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Those counties have quality-rated child care learning centers also — four in Henry, seven in DeKalb and 11 in Fulton.

“To date, there are only five child care centers in Clayton County with a rating and Little Ones Learning Center has the highest rating among child care centers,” said Okunoren-Meadows. “There are a few other in-home child care providers who have been rated and have a three star rating.”

The center, established in 1994, offers a pre-kindergarten program and child care for youth up to 12. It is licensed for 193 children and has 17 staff members.

Bright from the Start officials said nearly 1,300 child care programs are participating in the program and only about 200 of them are rated so far.