Children's Discovery Center

CAPS ~Jenna Jansen

Overview of Agency

The agency mostly only covers families from the Stevens Point area but it does also care for children from Wood County, Marathon County, and from Waupaca County.

Details of Agency

History and Funding

The agency started as solely a head start program by CAP services. Starting five years ago there was a sense of need for a daycare, which is how the Children’s Discovery Center. The agency is funded in a couple different ways. For one there is government funding, as well as private donations by different community organizations as well as by parents.

Services Agency Provides

There are some individuals currently at the agency with disabilities. When these individuals are at the daycare specialized groups will come in daily to do one-on-one work with the children. If there needs to be certain therapy for the child close by school districts will send over a specialist to the center to work with the child on the specific issues. In the center there is always a nurse or a nurse assistant present to help with any emergency that might arise. A benefit of the center is that it is all wheelchair accessible, with everything being on one level with wide-open areas for easy movement.

Who is Eligible and How to Access Services?

There is someone on staff who is licensed to diagnose individuals with disabilities. This individual will go into the classrooms and observe and the eligibility is based on her recommendations. In other situations the children are already diagnosed with the disability before attending the center. In this case most parents already have services set up for the child.

How the Agency is Evaluated?

This agency is evaluated through head start and they come in every three years to check the program. Wisconsin State Licensing also comes in to do evaluations, twice a year. Lastly, young start comes in once a year. Currently the center holds a FIVE-STAR rating from the Young Star Rating Program. From this rating all of the teachers need to have at least an associates degree in education. All staff if full time need at least 25 hours per year of continuing education. The center helps with this and twice a year will close for ongoing training. If there needs to be more training from not meeting the hour requirement the center will also help pay for more training.

Agency's Interaction with Schools, Parents, and Youth

Schools:

In the Children’s Discovery Center there is a 4k program. Due to this there needs to be interaction with the schools. For example most of the students will after transfer to Bannach Elementary School and can be bused to and from this school.

Parents:

Once a month there is a parent night, which includes not only the staff and children but also the parents to participate in different activities. For example, this past month there was a Frozen sing along where the students got to dress up as characters and watch the movie with sing-a-long lyrics. There is also a Parent advisor group at the center, where the parents get to help set up policies. In February there were issues about parents worried about the food being on the fatty/carb side of the scale. To help parents concerns the center brought in a nutritionist and in June the center will redo the menu and invite parents to come and voice their opinions, as well as maybe offer menu suggestions. The center has also let some parents sit in on interviews of new staff. Let them offer their opinions on the new candidate. Also in the next upcoming months the staff is going to have a sit down with the parents and ask for a three-year plan, if the parents want another expansion of the center and developing other different ongoing plans for the center.

Youth:

There are not many connections with the youth. The center only offers services up until age eight. Also to volunteer or work in the center the individual needs to be at least 18 years of age. One thing done with the older students of 18 years is able to come into the classrooms and do observations, like a practicum scenario.

Agency's Link to the IEP/ Transition Process

The school districts are already involved with these children and may give opinions on where the student should go for schooling. For example the center has a fairly large 4K program so the school district may give opinions to a different school that may have fewer students or a better range of services for the individual. As far as the transition programs the children who are doing the 4k programs at the center will do a couple different activities with the school districts. For example, doing open house where the children get to go to the school. The school districts also set up busing where the children will get to ride the bus. As well as getting ready for kindergarten the teacher talks a lot about what is going to happen in the next upcoming year.