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      Kirksville Early Childhood Learning Center receives Accreditation

      Kids playing outside at Kirksville Early Childhood Learning Center.

      The Kirksville Public Schools Early Childhood Learning Center is celebrating its new accreditation.

      The center opened its new addition in 2010 and its staff has been working hard for the past two years to receive the honor from Missouri Accreditation of Progress for Children and Youth.

      The education level of the center's staff was one of the main criteria for receiving accreditation.

      "They have to make criteria with interactions and relationships with the children, how the children interact with each other, their tone that they use with the children, physical environment, health, safety, nutrition and program and curriculum," said Pamela Speer, the Executive Director for Missouri Accreditation.

      Jen Meyer, the Director of the center, said her staff had to fill out the application for accreditation, and complete self studies of its early childhood programs. Then, a review team from Missouri Accreditation came to the center to observe its operations. Meyer said the process has been stressful but worthwhile.

      "It was a bit stressful but it was nice because we're a new building so it's nice for us to start off on the right foot with the right that we want to offer to our children and families," said Meyer.

      Speer said the accreditation signifies that the Kirksville Early Childhood Learning Center provides excellent quality care and understanding of child development that prepares children for kindergarten.

      The accreditation is valid from June 25, 2012 until June 25, 2015. The center serves children from as young as six weeks old to as old as five years old.