FROM THE DIRECTOR

Greetings & welcome to Arbor Park Child Care Center - on behalf of our Board of Directors and staff.

As founder and Director, I am pleased to continue advocating for the health and wellness of infants, children, and their families in and around the Capital district. The Center’s programs, which emphasize the earliest years of life, have constructive influences on children’s early academic skills and behavioral control. The programs, with enthusiastic and actively engaged teachers, ensure that each participant becomes a thriving, well-balanced whole child. Given the positive effects of attendance, the Center teachers and staff advocate for high quality resources for all families. Selected exemplars of the long term positive effects of children’s attendance have been the Center’s employment of program graduates - which serve as an introduction to matriculation in early childhood education - and the program graduates who attend universities and colleges, such as, but not limited to, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Georgetown University, Spellman College, and Hudson Valley Community College. Clearly, the Center has been and continues to be a powerful opportunity that affects the educational trajectories of children enrolled in its programs. The Center is an equal opportunity service and resource provider.

HISTORY

Founded in 1983 Arbor Park Child Care Center, a non-profit (501c3) agency, celebrates 34 years of partnerships in early childcare and education services. During this time, the Center has remained committed to the provision of safe, quality, affordable, dependable, and nurturing services to infants, children, and their families. The Center’s commitments to safe, accessible, affordable, high quality care and education for all infants, children and families have been its driving force. The commitments are based on the belief that every child is entitled to early childhood educational experiences that prepares him/her for future success.

The majority of parents who work outside the home during times of economic uncertainty, have an increased demand for safe, high quality childcare services. In an attempt to accommodate the specific needs of the families, an architecturally designed building, scaled to children’s requirements was constructed. Initially, New York State Office of Children and Family Services licensed the Center to provide services to children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age. During those early years, the Center, as the first community-based childcare resource, became the only licensed infant care provider in the Arbor Hill community. Consequentially, its primary goal was to provide a variety of accessible services that positively affected the lives of teenage parents and single parent heads of households. This goal has not changed.

However, over the past 3 decades, the successful Center has grown in recognition, size, and programmatic offerings, which are educational environments with curricula for pre-kindergarten and universal kindergarten children, and infants and toddlers. To achieve its goals the Center functions in partnership with other community-based nonprofits, networks of local, state, and national professionals, organizations, and parents dedicated to community-based health and early childhood care and education. The Center continues to advocate for quality childcare and personalized learning experiences that ensure that all children are healthy, thriving, and developmentally on course for school and life.

NEW YORK STATE LICENSE

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services licenses the Arbor Park Child Care Center, which has provided quality childcare and early education for moderate to low- income children and their families for 34 consecutive years.

Over the decades, the Center has received many accolades. For instance, the New York State Office of Child and Family Services has assessed and rated it five Quality Stars - the highest rating for licensed childcare centers. In addition, as a component of its whole child approach, the Center participates in the New York State Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program for approved breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack.

EVALUATION

The Center, in conjunction with the New York State Education Department, City School District of Albany, New York State Department of Health, and Capital District Childcare Council, is actively involved in developing and evaluating curricula and policies. The Center also utilizes early childhood research findings to develop effective evidenced-based interventions. The City School District of Albany is exploring the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) measure of academic progress (MAP) to assess learning/academic progress among kindergarten students. The Center teachers and staff eagerly await the policy decisions about the outcomes.

EDUCATED PERSONNEL

The majority the teachers and staff have been engaged in the discipline of early childcare education for more than twenty years. Their innate sense of nurturing and caring is the foundation for the provision of the Center’s high quality care. The Center’s staff education adheres to the licensing requirements and participants are educated in nutrition science, health and safety, the essentials of first aid and CPR. Most important, the Center’s teachers and staff accept personal responsibility for their professional development and adherence to current evidenced-based interventions for infants, children, and their families. Again, as a component of its whole child approach, the Center’s registered nurse assesses weekly each infant and child to ensure their positive physical health.