BrightStars Program Focus: Bright Start Academy in Smithfield
Bright Start Academy in Smithfield recently renewed its BrightStars participation and maintained their quality rating of 4-Stars. The program also scored nearly identical overall ERS results, exceeding a score of 5.0 for the second participation cycle in a row. These consistent, high quality results are a testament to the program’s overall environment. “The program offers a safe, clean, and caring environment that actively engages children in acquiring new skills and knowledge,” says assistant director Jill Cabral-Boni, who joined Bright Start’s team in 2017. “Each classroom contains well-equipped learning centers that are arranged to promote independence, foster decision making, encourage involvement, and include all developmental domains.”
The program originally joined BrightStars in June 2014, when they achieved their 4-Star rating. Under the guidance of Kerri Lemanski, Program Administrator, Bright Start joined BrightStars to learn more about best practices and how to apply this knowledge to the children in the program. “We are always striving to grow and offer our children and families the highest quality of care and education,” the program shared.
Bright Start Academy followed their initial participation with a thorough Quality Improvement Plan (see our Quality Improvement Resources tab for more information!), and took advantage of the guidance from their BrightStars Navigator. Goals were developed using the program’s Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) scores, and the program received funding through grants received from the Race to the Top dollars towards those goals. Purchases included hands-free faucets, hands-free paper towel dispensers, and professional development. This outstanding focus on children’s personal care paid off when the program received a score of 7 in the ECERS handwashing indicators. You read that right: a perfect handwashing score!
Of course, Bright Start’s scores weren’t all thanks to their commitment to cleanliness. Staff interactions with children were also indicated on the tool as an amazing strength. “BrightStars helped us to remember to never lose sight of the importance of staff interactions during the busy parts of the day.” And it shows!
We at BrightStars look forward to another three years of continuous quality improvement with the great team at Bright Start Academy.