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Magic Valley High School child care center recognized for high quality

The facility recently earned a Steps to Quality Step 4 rating with Idaho Stars
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 12:31 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Magic Valley High School Child Care Center was recently recognized by the state as having one of the highest quality child care facilities in Idaho.

The facility recently earned a Steps to Quality Step 4 rating with Idaho Stars. This is a high rating on what is a program that assesses a variety of aspects at a child care facility including health and safety, staff education and inclusion of all children.

“It means a lot to us because all of our hard work. We’ve trained. We’ve put in extra hours to get this rating,” said Child Care Supervisor Michelle Jones. “We’ve had assessors come and assess the program. They’ve assessed our interactions with children and parents.”

Jones has worked in childcare for 30 years. She said they do not simply babysit children at this center, they also offer teen parent training during which outside organizations come and teach about topics such as behavior or nutrition.

“A lot of times our teen parents do not have parents at home that can modern good parenting skills,” Jones said. “So a lot of times it is nice they can come out here, we can show them techniques how to work with behaviors that are driving the parents crazy.”

The facility is located at Magic Valley High School, which is an alternative school in Twin Falls. The school’s principal said the staff’s willingness to go the extra mile for these young parents makes this an invaluable resource for students, at a time when quality child care is costly and often difficult to find.

“It gives some of our students the opportunity to still go to school to still pursue their high school education and diploma,” said Roger Keller, principal of Magic Valley High School. “Without this service, they just couldn’t afford to do it.”

For many parents, dropping off their infant or young child can be difficult, as well; but, in this case, Keller said students can focus on their studies knowing their children are nearby.

“The comforting part too for parents is they can stop in and see their kid throughout the day,” Keller said. “They’re able to if they need to come over at lunch, sit here and eat lunch with their kid or if we have mothers that need to nurse or something like that, we make accommodations for that.”

Keller added this is a service that not only helps students in the present but puts them on the right path for the future.

“I have one parent that I see almost on a regular basis. She works at a retail store in town,” Jones said. “She told me probably five years after she graduated ‘I miss you guys so much. We just didn’t know how good we had it when we had you taking care of our baby.’”

Jones added she encourages all parents to thoroughly research child care facilities in the area before dropping off their child.

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