YMCA Peanut Shell recognized by Grow NJ Kids for quality child care

By: News and blog | Friday, August 2, 2019 | News

Babies play with toys. Credit: iStock

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The YMCA Peanut Shell Early Childhood Learning Center, which provides child care and education programs for infants and children six weeks to 5 years old in Livingston, NJ, received a 3-star rating for their successful completion of the rigorous, research-based Grow NJ Kids quality rating program. 

Grow NJ Kids is New Jersey’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. It offers child care and early learning programs access to training, professional development, staff scholarships for continuing education and targeted technical assistance. Professional raters visit the program to review quality standards and then program participants receive ratings – up to five stars – by meeting an extensive list of quality benchmarks. 

More than 40 states across the country have a form of QRIS. In New Jersey, the program is administered by the Departments of Children and Families, Education, Health, and Human Services.

The rating will help further the school’s mission to provide quality child care in a safe, fun and nurturing environment. 

"I am proud of this rating from Grow NJ Kids, and especially proud of the incredible staff here at Peanut Shell who stop at nothing to ensure we provide the highest quality education every single day. Their focus on detail allows us to make the greatest impact on the children and communities we serve,” said Stephanie Kirby Anderson, M.S. Ed., Peanut Shell director.

“Grow NJ Kids offers resources to help educate parents on the importance of quality child care and early childhood education,” said Andrea Breitwieser, Grow NJ Kids coordinator. “It also gives parents and families the tools needed to find programs that will make the most of their kid’s early learning experiences.” 

Peanut Shell Early Childhood Learning Center should be proud of their rating, as participation in Grow NJ Kids indicates they provide a higher standard of care, exceeding New Jersey’s licensing standards, Breitwieser said. 

Peanut Shell is the child care location for the West Essex YMCA, a branch of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges. For more than 30 years, Peanut Shell has been providing a wide variety of creative and motivating activities that instill a love of learning. The center is state-licensed and the only child care program in Livingston accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

For more information about Peanut Shell Early Childhood Learning Center, visit westessexymca.org or look up Peanut Shell on Facebook. 

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About the Y

Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance


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