On June 22, the area United Community Action Partnership Head Start program learned it is one of 13 across the nation to be designated a National Head Start Association’s Program of Excellence. The Program of Excellence recognizes and supports innovative and outstanding Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the nation.

UCAP Executive Director Debi Brandt stated on Thursday, “We are honored to receive this national designation, earned only by those Head Start and Early Head  Start programs that consistently demonstrate excellence in program management and service  performance. Undoubtedly, the hard work and commitment of our workforce has enabled us to provide  the best available early learning and comprehensive services to the most vulnerable residents of  Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Redwood, and Renville Counties of  Minnesota.”

This achievement is earned by early childhood programs that consistently demonstrate excellence in program management, service performance, and child and family support.

Through a three-month application process, UCAP staff demonstrated that UCAP Head Start has met 41 Indicators of Excellence that designate high quality. To earn the five-year accreditation, our staff had to demonstrate excellence in all the facets of our operation, including: leadership; effective and efficient management; transparent and sound fiscal stewardship; informed, responsible, and responsive program governance; meaningful partnerships with parents and families; highly experienced and educated staff; state-of-the-art programming; and quality services that reflect and respond to the aspirations and needs of children and families.