Nearly 150 family child-care providers, many of whom have been part of our community for over a decade, gathered on Saturday, April 6, at our home at Roger Williams University’s University College in Providence.
The idea for the event came from the providers themselves. They told us they’d like to become more familiar with our relatively new quarters at One Empire Street, and to learn more about the programs we offer. A group of 10 providers did the lion’s share of the work in organizing the event, planning an enormous buffet lunch, and getting the word out.
After tours of our classrooms and the nearby parking facility, the providers filled a large meeting room to hear remarks from R2LP Director Leslie Gell, University College Vice President Jamie Scurry, Providence City Councilor James Taylor, State Senator Ana Quezada, R2LP’s Director of Family and Community Partnerships Tania Quezada, and several of the providers who orchestrated the event.
“Family child-care providers are an incredibly important part of our early child-care system,” Leslie told the group. “Families deserve choice, and so many families choose family child care. We want to make sure you are strong and respected. We are here to give you all the help and support you need to move up the BrightStars system.”
BrightStars is Rhode Island’s quality and rating improvement system. During the speaking program, Tania Quezada recognized three providers who have earned three to five stars (l-r at right: Diana Restrepo, Virginia Najarro and Nuris Ynoa).
“You are the backbone of what we do here at University College,” Jamie Scurry noted when welcoming the providers to the school. “I hope every minute you spend here is a good minute.”
“You have my undying support and a deep gratitude for the work you do,” said Councilor James Taylor. “You are helping children build the foundation of their lives, you are helping parents who work, and you are helping the community by being small business owners. You give so much of yourselves so that others can thrive.”
“Ready to Learn was the first agency that supported me and that made me feel like a real teacher, “ said family child-care provider Estela Rodriguez. “You opened the doors for all of us. You’ve aways been there for us.”
“Ready to Learn is my family,” said provider Ana Rivas. “I have learned how to speak into a microphone and I’m not scared anymore. We are comfortable here.”
Ready to Learn Providence became part of University College at Roger Williams University in February 2017. Last August we moved into its campus at One Empire Street in downtown Providence. Since the move, hundreds of early childhood educators have attended classes in our new classrooms.
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