According to Dawn Sheehan, owner of One Step Ahead, a child care center in Newark, keeping her staff motivated and happy is the bottom line for continuous quality improvement.
A Stars Level 4 program, Sheehan uses her center's tiered reimbursement to invest in her staff.
"My staff can earn monthly bonuses based on doing the basic job," says Sheehan. "This includes showing up to work on time, curriculum planning, and providing accurate paper work."
Additionally, every quarter, teachers provide her with a wish list of items that enhance learning. The lists always include books - so many books that the third floor is a library. Children can borrow books to take home to share with their families.
And there are more payoffs! The center has very low turnover with much of the staff having worked at One Step Ahead for at least two years.
With a consistent staff in place, the program is growing.
The center is up to 80 children that fill eight classrooms, two of which are for the after-school program. With this growth, they have tripled the number of children they serve receiving Purchase of Care from 20 to 60 students, serving the community through providing high-quality child care for all children.
And if all this wasn't enough to make you smile, take a look at Mr. Jurmaine's face, a prekindergarten teacher at One Step Ahead. His smile says it all!