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NEWS

April 2, 2004

RSU Child Development Center Earns Higher Rating

On-campus facility also changes name to reflect mission, service

Rogers State University's on-campus child development center has earned a higher level of childcare certification, which recognizes the facility's efforts to provide quality service.

The RSU Child Development Center, formerly known as the Kiddie Kollege, has earned two-star certification status from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, effective April 1.

The higher rating reflects the center's national accreditation and its increased efforts to provide quality childcare that includes weekly lesson plans and parental involvement, said Peggy Trease, director for the center. To earn the higher rating, Trease and her staff are required to hold credentials in early childhood development and attend ongoing annual training annually beyond what is required for lower-designated facilities, she said.

"The DHS rating program measures child care centers and their programs to assure they are providing a quality child care program for the children in their care," Trease said. "By using the system, parents can determine the excellence of a child care facility by the star rating they have obtained, which is a great peace of mind when they are considering a childcare program for their children."

The RSU Child Development Center is one of only 11 two-star centers in Rogers County and one of six in Claremore, according to DHS records.

Trease said she and her staff Pola Petersen, Terri Miller, Pam Steele and Kristi Bording now are working on meeting the requirements to become a three-star facility, the highest level of certification by DHS. Three-star facilities are required to maintain additional training and other provisions beyond the requirements for two-star certification.

The center also announced that it has changed its name from the Kiddie Kollege to the RSU Child Development Center. The name change more closely reflects the center's purpose of providing childcare services in a professional, educational environment, said RSU Dean of Students Dr. Michael Turner, whose office oversees the center.

The university operates the on-campus childcare center to serve the children of RSU students, faculty and staff; the center is available to area residents, space permitting. The center is licensed to care for 50 children.

Efforts also are underway by campus groups to raise money and manpower to make provide needed renovations to the facility and provide new equipment for the children. Because of funding concerns and the desire to maintain its rates as a service to students, the center has been unable to make many desired improvements to the building and grounds, Trease said.

Student groups assisting in the renovation efforts include the Criminal Justice Club under the direction of instructor Scott Chambless, the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society under the direction of assistant professor Dr. Kevin Woller, the Cross Cultural Organization and a sociology class studying social problems taught by assistant professor Peggy Dugan. The student groups have been working to raise money, arrange donated materials and provide manpower in conjunction with the RSU physical plant to make improvements to the facility.

The groups held a work day on Saturday, April 3, at the center to tackle a host of projects both inside and outside the building.

For more information about the RSU Child Development Center, call 343-7863.