U of M’s “Ready. Set. Grow!” Program Leads Effort to Have Child Care Centers Improve Quality Through Accreditation University News
For release: August 29, 2008

For press information, contact Curt Guenther

The University of Memphis’ College of Education is improving early child care through its “Ready. Set. Grow!” program, which is spearheading an effort to ensure the highest quality of care, education, and safety offered through Shelby County child care centers. The program works with the State of Tennessee to urge local child care centers to seek out accreditation voluntarily as a way to improve the care they provide to children. Directors of 33 child care centers in Shelby County will be recognized on Thursday, Sept. 18, for completing all necessary requirements for accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Urban Child Institute, 600 Jefferson Avenue; at 7 p.m. Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton will preside at the recognition ceremony.

Dr. Deborah A. Moberly, director of “Ready. Set. Grow!” said, “Accreditation requires determination, which is one of the reasons that “Ready. Set. Grow!,” the University of Memphis, Memphis Tomorrow, and Shelby County Government will recognize those centers that have completed the demanding accreditation process.” For more than 80 years, the NAEYC has worked to raise the quality of programs for all children from birth through age eight. Its system of accreditation is designed for programs that are committed to national standards of quality, which include meeting the following:

  • The highest standards for excellence in early childhood education
  • Rigorous standards for ensuring a safe and healthy environment for children
  • Academic requirements for well-trained teachers
  • Requirements for excellence in teaching
  • Standards for continuous learning

The College of Education (COE) at the University of Memphis licenses more teachers than any university in Tennessee. It is among a select few in the nation to meet, without a weakness, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education standards. In addition to teacher education, the College offers accredited degree programs in counseling, educational psychology and research, health and sport sciences and management, nutrition, and leadership. COE faculty serves the community through more than 1000 days of direct service annually and a rigorous research agenda.

For more information contact:

The University of Memphis    
Deborah A. Moberly, Ph.D., Director
Sandy Guntharp, Project Coordinator
Phone:  901-678-5749  or 901-258-5271
“Ready. Set. Grow!” Program          
Park AvenueCampus     
411 South MSU B Street Building 48
Memphis, TN 38152

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