About Bright from the Start
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia's Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages Quality Rated, Georgia’s community powered child care rating system. The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, visit www.decal.ga.gov.
Jen Talaber Ryan
The Child Care Resource & Referral of Southeast Georgia serves the following counties:
Appling, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Columbia, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, Wayne and Wheeler
Early Start Child Care Resource & Referral is committed to the promotion of high quality early care and learning in Southeast Georgia through education and collaborative efforts with families, early childhood professionals and members of the community.
All children have access to quality early care and learning opportunities that will provide the foundation for a promising future.
- Parent and Consumer education
- Quality improvement consultations to child care professionals on site or via the telephone
- State approved training opportunities
- Career counseling
- Support and assistance to child care programs seeking Georgia Quality Rated
- Mentoring Projects for family and group child care professionals pairing seasoned professionals with new business owners
- Quarterly Newsletter
Interested in Quality Rated?
Contact us for more information
912.443.5080 or visit the
Quality Rated Website
Quality Rated Application
For Business and Community Partners:
- Source for demographic and statistical information on child care and parent needs
- Conducts seminars and public awareness activities in the community to inform the public about quality child care and child care options
- Fostering community solutions through community agency participation
Armstrong Launches Childcare Tuition Assistance Program
Staff Report From Savannah CEO
Friday, February 10th, 2017
In partnership with Atlanta-based nonprofit Quality Care for Children, Armstrong State University recently launched a program, which provides financial assistance for quality child care to parents who are pursuing a four-year college degree.
“Armstrong has a sizable number of students who are also working parents,” notes Armstrong Interim Associate Provost for Student Engagement and Success Becky da Cruz. “Affordable child care has been a long-term issue for students on our campus.”
Through the Boost program, created by Quality Care for Children, four full-time Armstrong students receive up to $125 weekly to pay tuition for a local Quality Rated child care program, as designated by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. Participants must be in good academic standing with at least 60 credit hours and have at least one child between the ages of 0 and 4.
“We want the best possible outcomes for our state’s young children, and know that when a parent earns a degree it means more positive results for the child as well,” says Pam Tatum, chief executive officer and president of Quality Care for Children. “By helping these parents afford a safe and quality early learning program for their children through Boost, we are giving them time to be in class and study while their children are participating in learning programs and getting the care they need during their most critical years of development.”
Isabel Marmolejo, a Respiratory Therapy major who expects to graduate in 2019, is one of the four scholarship recipients at Armstrong.
“This means the world to me,” she says. “I am able to attend classes and earn my credits knowing that my daughter is in a safe environment. I am less stressed and able to focus more on my major, thanks to the Boost program, which provides for longer school hours for my daughter.”
Approximately one-third of all college students are parents. However, more than 50 percent of these students leave college without a degree due to the lack of affordable child care and financial assistance to pay for it.
“This program is a blessing to my life,” says Octavia Phillips, a Nursing student who will graduate in December. “It has enabled me to succeed and focus on my studies without having to worry about working extra hours to pay for child care. I am very grateful for this program, as it allows others that I can trust to care for my child's basic needs during the daytime while I further my education."
In addition to Armstrong, Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., and Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., participate in the Boost tuition assistance program. Currently Boost is serving 15 student-parents with another 15 in the application process. Plans are to eventually serve 100 participants at each of the three universities.
“We’re focused on helping parent-students reach that finish line,” says da Cruz. “As a result, response to the opportunity Boost offers has been tremendous.”