Contact: Cathleen Scott-Slayback
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statewide quality rating system is success story for northeast Indiana
FORT WAYNE- Speaking at the Early Childhood Alliance Downtown Children’s
Center, Mitch Roob, Secretary of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration,
acknowledged the work done in northeast Indiana to develop Paths to QUALITY, a
quality rating system for child care, and talked about plans to adopt Paths to QUALITY
statewide next year. During his visit, Secretary Roob emphasized that a quality rating
system will benefit not only children and parents, but also child care professionals and
economic development. His visit coincides with Month of the Young Child.
A quality rating system in child care is a method to assess, communicate and improve the
quality of early care. Paths to QUALITY, developed by Early Childhood Alliance in
collaboration with the Child Care and Early Education Partnership, is administered
throughout northeast Indiana by Early Childhood Alliance, and plays an integral role in
the agency’s mission to build better futures for young children by promoting and
providing quality early childhood education and services.
“The more information parents have when making their childcare decisions, the more
they will demand high quality childcare, and I have complete confidence that child care
providers will rise to that challenge,” said Secretary Roob.
"This is an exciting time for parents, child care providers and the communities
throughout the state of Indiana!” said Madeleine Baker, executive director of Early
Childhood Alliance. “We've come a long way and it's very moving to realize that the hard
work of Early Childhood Alliance staff and committed collaborations have resulted in our
“On behalf of all those who helped make this dream come true for the good of our young
children and their future, I want to personally thank the leadership at the State Bureau of
Child Care and most importantly the visionary approach and funding support from the
Foellinger Foundation,” she added. “This is certainly a success story for everyone
According to Secretary Roob, Indiana can meet several objectives with implementation
of a statewide system, including: higher quality care for all children which promotes
growth and better school readiness; providing parents with a tool to help them make more
informed child care choices for their children; supporting professional development
activities for child care providers; and rewarding providers who demonstrate a
commitment to continuing quality improvement of child care programs. All of these lead
to improved economic development in communities across the state by supporting the
Indiana workforce and bringing new business to Indiana.
Paths to QUALITY is designed to help parents identify and select the best early care and
education for their children by establishing four levels of quality for early care and
education programs. It increases the opportunities for children to receive the warm,
nurturing, stimulating care they need, as programs and providers move from one level to
the next. The primary focus of the four levels are: Level 1 – health and safety needs;
Level 2 – an environment that supports children’s learning; Level 3 – a planned
curriculum that fosters optimal development; Level 4 – national accreditation indicating
the highest quality for children.
Paths to QUALITY was launched in Allen County in April 2000, and has since expanded
to five more counties in northeast Indiana and 12 counties in southwest Indiana. It grew
out of a Foellinger Foundation grant invitation and is funded by the Child Care and Early
Education Partnership, which includes Foellinger Foundation, Early Childhood Alliance,
and a several other foundations and organizations with a vested interest in early
“The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of early childhood development and
quality child care,” said, Cheryl Taylor, president of Foellinger Foundation. “We view
this type of support as consistent with our donors’ intentions to strengthen our
community by helping children and their families move from dependence to
independence.” The Foundation has provided approximately a half million dollars for
Paths to QUALITY, including $100,000 in a series of grants for the planning and
development of the project, and nearly $400,000 for the project’s implementation in
The Foellinger Foundation, Inc. is a private charitable foundation created in 1958 by
Helene R. Foellinger, The News-Sentinel publisher from 1936 to 1980, and Esther A.
Foellinger, her mother. The focus is on strengthening Allen County children and their
families, particularly those with the greatest economic need and the least opportunity.
Early Childhood Alliance is a non-profit, United Way partner committed to building
better futures for young children by promoting and providing quality early childhood
education and services for families, early childhood professionals and the community.
Celebrating more than 50 years of caring about children, Early Childhood Alliance serves
the counties of northeast Indiana through early childhood education, the Child Care
Resource and Referral, professional training and development, mentoring, the Child and
Adult Care Food Program, parent education, corporate consultation and advocacy.
Early Childhood Alliance 260-745-2501 www.ecalliance.org