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Leah Dasher
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Vidalia Campus
Swainsboro Campus
(912) 538-3186


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Child Development Center Pursues New Accreditation, Receives Grant

October 9, 2013 - The Southeastern Technical College Child Development Center drew several dozen people to its annual cookout in the Maurice Boatwright Auditorium on the college’s Swainsboro campus on Sept. 26.

Family of students and friends of the center mingled, watched the children perform and heard several presentations on center business at the annual event.

“[The cookout] gives parents an opportunity to meet each other and get to know the other children in the classrooms,” said Gena Sapp, director of the Child Development Center.

After several song and dance performances from the children, Sapp introduced the attendees to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which provides an accreditation less than 10 percent of childcare centers in Georgia have earned. The differences in accreditation, according to Sapp, are pronounced.

“When you go to McDonald’s, you want something to eat, you go through the drive-through, pick up something real quick—it satisfies the need,” said Sapp. “And that’s what [basic] licensing is. We are a center of distinction, which means we meet and exceed expectations, so it’s kind of like if you go to Red Lobster. Someone’s going to wait on you, you get a little better service.

“NAEYC is like going to Flat Creek. It’s the cream of the crop, it’s the Cadillac.”

The STC Child Development Center began the process in 2009 and officially applied for candidacy on Sept. 25. Center staff are expecting an on-site visit early next year.

“[NAEYC accreditation] means better-qualified teachers, a structured, comprehensive curriculum, regular communication with our families, stricter safety standards, and a highly-qualified learning environment for your children,” said Sapp.

Sapp also announced that the Mill Creek Foundation had approved a $5,000 grant to the center to upgrade its classroom camera systems. The upgrade is expected to begin in December and will increase the number of cameras in use and replace the center’s 15-year-old cameras.

“Parents can log onto [the cameras] via the internet to monitor their child during the day,” said Sapp. “And college instructors can also use the system to conduct observations of the college students or to show demonstration in the college classes.”

The cookout program also included remarks from STC Foundation Trustee Peyton Frye, who announced the kickoff of the foundation’s fundraising campaign for the center and plans for a new scholarship fund to aid students with children enrolled in the center’s program.

“When you give to the child care center, you’re giving to the future of Southeastern Technical College, especially the Swainsboro campus,” said Frye.

Concluding the program, Dr. Cathryn Mitchell, president of Southeastern Tech, spoke on the recent history of the center and its reputation as a solid educational foundation.

“I’ve talked with many teachers who’ve said that the children who come from this center are much better prepared than children who come from others,” said Mitchell.

For more information on enrollment at the STC Child Development Center, visit or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.

Family and friends watch children from the STC Child Development Center perform as part of the center’s cookout program on Sept. 26 in Swainsboro.