Early Learning can take place in many locations and in many ways. It takes place at home, in childcare and in a formal educational setting like a preschool. The early learning research is very clear that a quality preschool program can have a significant and positive impact on a child’s later success in school. But what defines quality? South Dakota is one of only a few states with no state guidelines or oversight for preschools. So, to assure parents that the preschool that their child attends is one of quality, the School Administrators of South Dakota developed the SASD Preschool Levels of Excellence. It is a voluntary evaluation tool that pairs a local school administrator with local public or private preschool staff and reviews the quality of the preschool program in ten areas: Relationships, Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment, Health, Teachers, Families, Community Relationships, Physical Environment, Leadership & Management. Preschools that make the requirements of the Preschool Levels of Excellence will be identified in one of three levels of recognition: Proficient, Distinguished, and Exemplary.
Currently there are 37 preschools in South Dakota that are acknowledged through the Preschool Levels of Excellence. If you want to find out more about the Preschool Levels of Excellence including how your child’s preschool can get involved, please follow the link below.