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HACAP rates LECC highly
May 10, 2013 · Jake Krob

The Lisbon Early Childhood Center (LECC) earned affirmation recently that it's providing quality programming for kids.

The toddler program, for kids ages one to two, recently received a score of 6.7 on a 7-point Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS) through the Hawkeye Area Communication Action Program (HACAP).

Jackie Luzum, director of the LECC for the Lisbon School District, said the rating is another indication of the growth LECC is making in serving children.

"We have this new state-of-the-art facility," she said, referring to the district's 25,000-square-foot, $5 million center that opened this past fall. "This shows we also have a state-of-the-art education."

Luzum said LECC goes through the ITERS program to find ways to improve. It can go through it every year, with a different age group program analyzed each year.

The program involves evaluators analyzing the facility and programs in the fall, making suggestions, then coming back in the spring for another rating.

The LECC toddler program received a 6.33 rating in the fall, and a 6.7 in the spring.

Luzum said the program saw the most growth in diversity and flexibility of schedule. The latter involved staff deciding it was better for kids to let them sleep when they desired, instead of trying to stick to a specific schedule for the whole group. The program was also evaluated on space and furnishings, personal care routines, how staff interacts with children, activities, and program structure.

Luzum said getting evaluated and rated is a good way to build confidence in staff, and to show the community how seriously LECC takes its services.

She also hopes it helps build the program. Currently, the toddler room has seven children. It has room for 18.

The school district and LECC are also investing in the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Iowa program to help staff become certified by obtaining a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

Luzum said four staff members who work with three- and four-year-olds are going through the program this year, and those who work with infants will go through it next year.

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