Growing Minds Preschool Achieves Quality Plus Rating
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 10/25/2023
DYSART SCHOOLS – Dysart Unified School District’s Growing Minds Preschool has attained a Quality Plus rating from Quality First. The Quality Plus, or 4-Star Rating, indicates that Growing Minds Preschool exceeds quality standards as an early childhood learning program.
Growing Minds Preschool serves 280 students between the ages of two and five years old across four locations, and is dedicated to providing quality care and education in a safe, nurturing, and loving environment. Staff are focused on fostering positive interactions and hands-on learning opportunities for students at all levels. As a Quality First early care and education provider, Growing Minds Preschool offers Quality First Scholarships for eligible low-income families with children from birth to age 5.
Quality First, a signature program of First Things First, partners with regulated child care and preschool providers to improve the quality of early learning across Arizona. Participating providers work with a coach to assess their programs and implement quality improvement plans in areas that research shows help young kids thrive. The Quality First Assessment is broken up into two assessment cycles. The first cycle focuses on the classroom environment and the second cycle of assessment focuses on emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support. Scores from both cycles are used to determine a program's overall rating.
The areas assessed include:
- Health and safety practices that promote children’s basic well-being;
- Staff qualifications, including experience working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as training or college coursework in early childhood development and education;
- Teacher-child interactions that are positive, consistent and nurture healthy development and learning;
- Learning environments, including age-appropriate books, toys and learning materials that promote emotional, social, language and cognitive development;
- Lessons that follow state requirements or recommendations for infants, toddlers and preschoolers;
- Group sizes that give young children the individual attention they need; and,
- Child assessment and parent communication that keeps families regularly informed of their child’s development.
“Preschool is an important stepping stone for children as they prepare for their educational journey in Kindergarten and beyond,” said Dr. John Croteau, Dysart Schools Superintendent. “Our 4-star rating reflects the hard work of our staff, and is an important indicator to the families of children in our care that they are getting a high quality early education.”
About Growing Minds Preschool
Growing Minds Preschool serves children ages 2-5 with the core value of cultivating learning by supporting the “Learn through Play” mantra. Through the application of Creative Curriculum, all children are provided with developmentally appropriate academics in reading, writing, academic vocabulary, oral language development, math, science and social studies. All Growing Minds Preschool skills are aligned with the Arizona Early Childhood Education standards. The Growing Minds Preschool main campus is located at 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop S., Surprise, AZ 85388. Satellite locations are available at Freedom Traditional Academy (16066 N. Parkview Pl., Surprise 85374), Marley Park Elementary School (15042 W. Sweetwater Ave., Surprise, AZ 85379), and Mountain View School (18302 W. Burton Ave., Waddell, AZ 85355). To learn more, visit GrowingMindsPreschool.org.
About Quality First
Quality First – a signature program of First Things First – partners with regulated early childhood providers to make quality improvements that research proves help children birth to 5 thrive, such as education for teachers to expand their expertise in working with young children. It also supports parents with information about what to look for in quality early childhood programs that goes beyond health and safety to include a nurturing environment that supports their child’s learning.
About First Things First
First Things First is a voter-created, statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help kids be successful once they enter kindergarten. Decisions about how those funds are spent are made by local councils staffed by community volunteers. To learn more, visit azftf.gov.