Oregon FCC Program Receives Quality Designation
“Working with children and creating a play day that reaches the whole child is our intent,” says Tenderheart owner Angie Hogan. “We are a screen free environment so we are always on the go doing something with our bodies and minds either in the dramatic play spaces inside or [outside] in our large backyard. Opportunities to explore naturally happen every day.”
Shannon Rudisill, director of the Office of Child Care, visited Tenderheart Childcare and Preschool to see firsthand how children benefit in high-quality family child care settings. “The way Angie takes advantage of the opportunities in her own backyard to guide learning through exploration, science and movement creates a comprehensive approach that’s great for children.”
Since starting Tenderheart 23 years ago, Angie Hogan is always looking for ways to improve the quality of her program. To encourage and support healthier physical activity and nutrition practices for the children who attend Tenderheart, Hogan participates in Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC).
LMCC offers tools to child care providers to help our youngest children get off to a healthy start. LMCC’s goals are to:
- Increase physical activity
- Reduce screen time
- Incorporate healthy food
- Promote nutritious beverages
- Support infant feeding
“The children have better attitudes, are happier and more active after we made changes to our physical activity lessons and reduced some foods from our menu,” noted Hogan. Children are offered a variety of vegetables at each meal, so there is always at least one vegetable that even the pickiest of eaters will eat. “It's a great feeling when a parent tells us that their child has asked them for a vegetable. The parent usually follows in a whisper voice with, ‘I don't even eat that!’” Hogan added.
Oregon recognizes Tenderheart as a Program of Quality (OPQ). "Tenderheart Childcare and Preschool is a shining example of a quality program that helps young children reach their full potential and illustrates how quality looks in a family child care setting,” said Dawn Woods, Quality Improvement manager at the Oregon State Child Care Division. “Oregon is committed to establishing a supply of quality child care and early learning programs across child care settings and in key geographic and population areas in the state."
Programs of Quality, like Tenderheart, are eligible for a direct contract with the state to secure contracted slots to help ensure low-income families can access quality early learning programs. The contracted slots program is a result of a policy partnership between Oregon's Department of Human Services, the Child Care Division, and Oregon State University. OPQ also serves as a foundation for Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System which is being field tested in early 2013.