MADISON — The Madison Public Preschool has been recognized by Nebraska Step Up to Quality for its commitment to quality child care and education.

"It is crucial that providers and educators across the state have a mutual understanding of what quality looks like in the child care environment and that they feel supported on their path to quality," said Lauri Cimino, director of Step Up to Quality. "Programs enrolled in Step Up to Quality have access to coaching and resources that enable any provider — big or small — to take quality to the next level."

The Madison preschool program has been rated at a “Step 4” out of five total steps in the program.

Step Up to Quality programs go beyond state licensing requirements to better serve the needs of young children and their families and to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond, Cimino said.

Step Up to Quality supports all types of early child care and education programs, including licensed family child care homes and child care centers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, public school-operated early childhood programs and licensed preschools.

"We want to provide all children in our preschool with the skills they need to be successful for the rest of their lives, said Jessica Ternus, the preschool teacher of 4-year-olds at Madison. “Our participation in Step Up to Quality has given us opportunities to expand and improve our program and the care and education we give to our students."

Other staff members at Madison are Kelsey Kolar, who teaches 3-year-olds, and Niko Gronenthal and Marilyn Samuelson, both preschool paraprofessionals.

Step Up to Quality is funded through the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

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Want to learn more?

To learn more about Step Up to Quality, visit

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