HISTORY

Otterbein Early Education Center is a ministry of Otterbein Church which began operating in September 1996. The center was opened to meet a need in the community and to make use of a newly renovated building that sat empty most of the week. Opening with less than ten children in 1996, we have grown to serving 113 children daily.

The center is governed by a board consisting of church members who work to ensure a connection between the church and center.

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PHILOSOPHY

We are committed to provide a stimulating developmentally appropriate environment where children grow physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. We believe that all children are special and a gift from God. Children of all ages need to hear this in their homes and have it reinforced in as many places and settings as possible. Our desire is to reinforce and build into the life of each child an openness to Jesus Christ and a sense of His great love for them.

 

We feel that while your child is enrolled at Otterbein is our responsibility to nurture them so that they feel safe, secure and loved. We want to instill in each child an excitement for learning that will grow each year. Our center staff do everything possible to ensure that your needs and the needs of your child are met.

 

Our classes are grouped by age and our activities are based on a child's natural curiosity and creativity. Center staff work hard to develop age-appropriate curriculums for all age groups. Christian values are taught through regular bible activities and modeled by the actions of the staff.   

NAEYC

To follow our goal of providing high-quality early childhood education to our clients, Otterbein pursued accreditation through the National Association of Young Children (NAEYC) in 2002. Since that time, we have constantly maintained our accreditation status.

What is NAEYC accreditation?

A voluntary comprehensive process of internal self-study and continuous quality improvement.

What does high-quality mean for an early childhood program?

A high-quality program will provide a safe and nurturing environment while promoting healthy development for young children. NAEYC-Accredited programs demonstrate their quality by meeting the 10 NAEYC Early Learning Program Standards, which are research-based best practices for young children’s development and learning.

 

These standards were created with input from experts and educators from around the country. The standards define what NAEYC believes all early learning programs should provide.

The 10 NAEYC standards are:

  1. Relationships

  2. Curriculum

  3. Teaching

  4. Assessment of Child Progress

  5. Health

  6. Staff Competencies, Preparation and Support

  7. Families

  8. Community Relationships

  9. Physical Environment

  10. Leadership and Management

 

NAEYC accreditation is awarded for a five-year ter. During that period, programs submit annual reports documenting that they are consistently meeting the program standards. For more information visit www.naeyc.org.

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KEYSTONE STARS

Otterbein Early Education Center has been designated a STARS 4 site since STARS began in 2002 and our school age program has worked through the STARS system being designated as STARS 4 site in 2018. Both sites continue to meet or exceed the required performance standards.

Keystone STARS is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and has four primary goals:

  • To improve the quality of early care and education;

  • To support early care and education providers in meeting their quality improvement goals;

  • To recognize programs for continuous quality improvement and meeting higher quality standards;

  • To provide families a way to choose a quality early care and education program.

These goals improve the quality of early childhood programs through:

  • Standards

  • Training/Professional Development

  • Assistance

  • Resources

  • Support

 

The STARS performance standards provide the foundation for the program and are grouped into four STAR levels. All licensed providers child care providers in Pennsylvania begin at a STAR 1. Each level builds upon the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.

Additional information can be found at: www.pakeys.org/keystone-stars/

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PBIS

Otterbein Early Education Center was recognized by the Pennsylvania PBIS Network for implementing Program-Wide PBIS with fidelity at the universal intervention tier. In 2020, we were recognized as one of only 2 centers in the state for implementing the PBIS program at all 3 tiers with fidelity.   

PBIS is a nation-wide evidence-based approach of classroom management and systems that promotes a positive culture in an educational setting. It provides teachers and families the tools and strategies to optimize the teachings of social emotional skills and emotional literacy. Together, staff and families partner in teaching children appropriate ways to express emotions, handle problems solving, and create healthy relationships with peers.

 At Otterbein Early Education Center, we developed and implemented policies and procedures to:

  • Decrease challenging behaviors through consistent expectations

  • Improve social emotional wellness through intentional teaching

  • Increase staff satisfaction through peer support and coaching

  • Increase family satisfaction through honest feedback and trusting relationships

 

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