The Cannon Beach Preschool & Children’s Center received a three-star rating, for its commitment to quality learning for all children, from Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System on February 12.

The preschool and children’s center is the first and only childcare provider in Clatsop County to be designated as a three-star program, director Christy Bisping said.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” she said. “We have a high-quality curriculum and we include our families in every aspect of the center.”

Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, which programs choose to participate in, is a partnership with the state and Western Oregon University. The rating system works to improve the quality and consistency of childcare and early learning programs — which play a critical role in brain development.

For a three-star rating, a program must support all children’s learning and development through its curriculum, follow a written philosophy that defines its values and goals, perform annual screenings on children, and maintain an accessible and appropriate indoor environment. Star ratings are also based on meeting standards in health & safety, family partnerships, personnel qualifications, and administration & business practices.

The Cannon Beach Preschool & Children’s Center, a nonprofit founded in 1977, aims to provide high-quality childcare, early childhood education and school preparation for children from six weeks old to age 6. The preschool and children’s center currently has six teachers and 30 students from Cannon Beach, Seaside, Garibaldi, Manzanita and Gearhart, she said. The center has separate rooms for infants six weeks to 2 years, toddlers ages 2 to 3 and preschoolers ages 3 to 6.

The curriculum, centered on play and honing creativity, helps children build fine and gross motor skills and supports cognitive and social-emotional development, Bisping said. “We have ample room for our children to play and learn.”

The upcoming Savor Cannon Beach Wine Walk is a major fundraiser for the children’s center.

“We’re an affordable option. We’re focused on our students’ needs as opposed to dollar signs,” Bisping said. “We are not focused on how many kids we can pack into a classroom. We focus on the children.”

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