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Council on Rural Services is proud to announce that the Kids Learning Place located in Union City has earned their “FIVE Star Rating” in the Step Up to Quality program from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  Kids Learning Place is the only Five Star Award program in Darke County.

Congratulations go to each of the center’s team members for their focused efforts, dedication, and improvements in the growth and develop of all the children.

Step Up to Quality is a voluntary five-step child care rating system that early care and education centers can earn in Ohio.  It recognizes programs that exceed licensing standards.  Once they meet the basic requirements, participating centers earn star ratings from 1 to 5 by meeting an extensive list of additional quality measures.

Angie Coby, early childhood services coordinator for Darke Co. at Council on Rural Services said, “Learning begins as soon as a child is born, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life.  We are very proud of the excellent—high achieving team that made this top award happen. The team members are resourceful, focused and determined in meeting a common goal in their work with the children.

FIVE STAR rated programs must meet higher requirements than most other child care centers.

Just some of the five star benchmarks that helps centers meet these higher standards include: administrators and teachers with bachelor degrees in early childhood as well as 25 hours of specialized training bi-annually, a formal self-assessment that is used to formulate the program’s annual continuous improvement plan, agreements with community partners serving families, child assessments used to plan activities for children according to needs, interests, and the abilities of the children.  If you are a parent choosing an education center for your child; remember a program that meets this Step Up to Quality measurement is furnishing a more qualified teacher per child, is committed to teaching children, and has a working environment where staff is treated professionally.

 Beginning this fall the Kids Learning Place in Union City will become a full day Head Start center, teaching children 6 hours a day.    We are taking applications now for fall, if you would like more information about our center and enrollment for Head Start please call our local toll free number at 1-866-627-4557 for quick contact.  For more information about Kids Learning Place and Council on Rural Services – programs for innovative learning, check the web site at