Educational First Steps Launches Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 Program
Dallas, TX — For the past 23 years, Educational First Steps (EFS) has assisted child care centers in at risk neighborhoods toward greater quality and higher standards, ultimately guiding them toward the achievement of national accreditation. The EFS program has an impact on thousands of children, increasing their chances for success in Kindergarten and beyond. To provide even greater benefits to children, EFS recently revised its program, creating Four Steps to Excellence 2.0, a more strategic and efficient path toward classroom excellence. EFS introduced four pilot centers into the program last fall and now officially launches the full Four Steps to Excellence Program with 77 EFS-assisted centers on Monday, January 14, 2013.
Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 improvements multiply benefits to children in measurable ways. The program places centers on a 40 month path to comprehensive quality, culminating in national accreditation by the National Accreditation Commission of the Association for Early Learning Leaders or the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Important milestones are achieved as the centers progress through four phases – Evaluation, Foundation, Readiness and Accredited Partner. EFS Early Learning Specialists mentor center staff in developmentally appropriate practices within their actual classrooms, and EFS Education Trainers provide a complete early learning curriculum through EFS Academy which transforms child care workers into effective teachers. The progress of each child care center and its staff is tracked through the Mentoring, Assessment & Academy Profile (MAAP), a customized, online tool that coordinates all aspects of the center’s journey to demonstrable quality and provides up-to-date analyses of areas requiring particular attention. As in the prior program, tailored enrichment opportunities continue through partnerships with the Dallas Zoo, Dallas Arboretum, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park and the Frontiers of Flight Museum, allowing EFS-assisted children to explore worlds outside of their classrooms and neighborhoods.
«Four Steps 2.0 stresses EFS’ core value of focusing on the whole child. Disadvantaged children in EFS-assisted centers will develop in an accelerated way the pre-literacy, pre-numeracy and social-emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life,» stated John Breitfeller, EFS Executive Director. «The program enhances the students’ everyday experiences during their most critical formative years, by giving the teachers and directors who interact with them the skills and tools that make a real difference. For these at risk students, EFS’ revitalized program offers a path to school readiness and accomplishment that they might otherwise never reach. This benefits not only the students themselves, but their families, neighborhoods and the community at-large.»