Riverbend Head Start & Family Services Receives ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality Designation at all Six Centers

ALTON, IL., March 9, 2023 – Riverbend Head Start & Family Services is proud to announce that all of our Head Start centers have received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the State’s Quality Recognition and Improvement system for early childhood education and care programs.

The centers are based in the following communities: Alton, Bethalto, Collinsville, Edwardsville, Granite City North and Granite City South.

“Riverbend Head Start and Family Services always strives to provide the highest quality for children, families and staff,” said Veneta Wadlow, Center Operations Coordinator. “Just knowing that all six of our locations consistently are awarded the Gold Circle rating through ExceleRate demonstrates the commitment of staff, and I feel honored to work for a program that supports high standards of service.”

ExceleRate Illinois uses a consistent set of standards organized into four domains: teaching and learning, family and community engagement, leadership and management, and qualifications and continuing education.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impact their ability to think, react, process and grow.

About ExceleRate Illinois:

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human services (IDHS), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  It is funded by IDHS and ISBE with additional funding and support from the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. 

About Riverbend Head Start and Family Services:

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services is a 501 (c )3 non-profit organization which began supporting the families and individuals of Madison County in 1916. Currently, we operate six centers, offering a two generational approach that supports the growth of parents and children through our Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These programs serve more than 1,000 people annually.    

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