Georgians who want to work in a licensed child-care center will have to pass a federal fingerprint background check starting January 1st. Currently, child-care workers undergo a state-based check. But officials say that can miss criminal history in other states.
Nearly 2,200 young children will be out of school starting next week because of the federal government shutdown. The non-profit group Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. is based in Gainesville and runs Head Start programs in 20 counties in north Georgia. Head Start is a federally-funded preschool program for low-income children across the country.
State officials say they're cracking down on child care centers that have been issued safety violations. Department of Early Care and Learning Bobby Cagle said inspectors are taking an especially close look at child care centers that have been cited for transportation issues, including failing to check that children have gotten off of buses and vans.
Organizers of Georgia’s first-ever Farm to Preschool Summit Friday and Saturday hope to help educators bring local fruits and vegetables into the classroom – as subject matter and nourishment. The summit will gather 200 people from across Georgia to learn the best ways to incorporate more local produce into lesson plans and meals for preschoolers.
School officials in Spalding County say a preschool student will likely be disciplined for bringing a loaded gun to school. A letter to parents from Jordan Hill Elementary School Principal Anthony Aikens says the preschooler brought the gun to school in his backpack Tuesday, and a teacher brought the bag to the principal.
Georgia is trying to encourage childcare programs to improve their quality. The state has instituted a new rating system that goes public Monday with one-, two- or three-star ratings for childcare centers. The program is voluntary, but state officials are pushing more centers to participate.
Ratings for Georgia childcare programs go online July 1. The Quality Rated program is a voluntary assessment for daycares, preschools and after-school programs that want to show they are going above and beyond the state’s minimum licensing standards in educating young children. That will be represented by a rating of one to three stars.