GRCC early childhood center among top programs in nation

Grand Rapids Community College’s Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory has again received recognition as one of the top programs in the nation.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recently renewed the program’s accreditation — a recognition achieved by fewer than 10% of all U.S. child-care centers, preschools and kindergartens.

The process for NAEYC accreditation is rigorous and includes intensive studies and on-site visits.

“NAEYC-accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” says Kristen Johnson, the association’s senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation.

The laboratory preschool, which serves children ages 6 weeks to 6 years, is the heart of GRCC’s Child Development and Education Department. It provides GRCC students with opportunities to work with children under the guidance of instructors in a model early childhood program. Located at 210 Lyon St. NE, it was the first in West Michigan to have the state’s 5-Star Quality Rating.

“We are proud to share that, despite a global pandemic, the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory is able to consistently provide a high-quality learning experience for young children,” says Rebecca Brinks, department head. “Our program also allows future teachers to interact with highly qualified mentors while observing and participating in the delivery of effective curriculum for young children.”
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