Neola Preschool wins top rating from IA DHS


January 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Tri-Center Preschool in Neola has earn a top rating from the Iowa Department of Human Services. It’s the first such educational facility in Pottawattamie County to receive a 5-star rating. Three Tri-Center Preschool teachers made the decision to participate in the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS), to make sure they were doing what was possible to become one of the best preschools in the area.

The Iowa QRS is a voluntary program in which providers are rated on a scale of 1-to 5, as they work to meet strict guidelines covering various criteria. Dawn Powers, QRS Specialist and child care consultan, told the Omaha World-Herald, that Tri-Center “worked very hard to receive the level 5 rating,” which demonstrates a “desire to improve the quality of care and education the children in Pottawattamie County receive.”

The QRS program was implemented in 2006, when parents went to the Iowa Legislature for help in determining preschool quality. A provider who earns 1 star has met Iowa’s registration or licensing standards. A 2-star provider has received additional training and made the first steps toward improving quality. A 3-to 4-star rating is based on professional development, health and safety, training and improvement, community partnerships and leadership, and staff evaluations.

Powers said parents should feel good about leaving their children at a 5-star childcare center, because they will be safe, sanitary and provide a quality environment for learning.