More than two dozen local early childhood educators have earned a Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC) through Childcare Resources of Indian River’s Credentialing Program, established in 2017 through an Impact 100 grant. In an effort to continue elevating early education throughout the county, the Credentialing Program has partnered with Literacy Services of Indian River County to ensure that all Credentialing Program students are prepared to be successful in their FCCPC coursework.
In Indian River County, where 13.5% of households use a primary language other than English, many students require additional assistance with English fluency and comprehension.
“We are proud to partner with Childcare Resources to offer tutoring services to childcare providers,” said Jessica Schmitt, Executive Director for Literacy Services of Indian River County. “Empowering them to communicate with parents and read to the children sets everyone up for success!”
Small groups of prospective Credentialing Program students that are identified as needing some additional assistance in English fluency meet regularly at their childcare centers with Literacy Services facilitators. After passing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), students are able to enroll in the Credentialing Program and maintain their close-knit group.
Beyond passing the TOEFL and earning the FCCPC, educators see incredible results in daily life. Preschool teachers in the program are more confident in speaking and reading with their students as well as communicating with parents and colleagues.
“The opportunity that volunteers from Literacy Services has provided for my Spanish-speaking staff to learn English is life changing!” said Lenora Quimby, director of For Kids Only of Vero Beach. “These ladies now will have the chance to participate in the Credentialing Program at Childcare Resources, thereby improving the services they provide to children in the classroom and increasing their weekly wages. A win-win for them and for the children we serve.”
The Childcare Resources Credentialing Program allows early educators in Indian River County the opportunity to earn an FCCPC staff credential, a process that can take up to two years, in just one semester. Educators from more than twenty childcare centers throughout the county have participated in the program.