Change a Child Forever:
Support Excellence in Early Education


What is the gold ribbon campaign all about?

Northern Door Children’s Center introduces the gold ribbon in support of excellent early childhood education.

Excellent early education positively changes the lives of children, and it changes the world. Excellence begins with YOU! When you support excellent early education, you change the world. When you demand excellent early education in your community, you change the world.

We encourage you to wear the gold ribbon and declare your support of young children and excellent early education!

To receive your gold ribbon, call NDCC at 920-854-4244.


Excellent early childhood education … what to look for and what to expect in a high-quality program

  1. A licensed program with minimal licensing violations. Whether your choice is a family childcare provider or a group child care center, it is vitally important to choose one that is licensed by the state in which it operates. Usually the State’s Department of Children and Family is the entity which licenses and regularly inspects Early Education programs. Anyone can go to the department’s website and check on a program they are considering for their child or children. A reputable program should not have multiple violations of safety rules.
  1. An open-door policy. High-quality programs ALWAYS allow parents and other family members to visit at any time during program operating hours, without an appointment or giving the program prior notice. Every classroom must be available for visiting at any time (keeping in mind to be respectful of learning activities and rest times).
  1. Clean, safe environment. High-quality programs are housed in facilities that look and smell clean and appear organized. The environment of the entire facility must be in good repair and inviting for young children and families. Obvious safety measures must be visibly in place. Some of these include: covered electric outlets, no extension cords in use, outdoor play areas fully fenced, kitchen areas clean and free of pest infestations, cooking and eating utensils properly sanitized, toys sanitized regularly, bathrooms cleaned daily, trash cans and diaper receptacles covered and emptied daily (or more often if necessary), floors and rugs clean and free of debris, and each child assigned a separate space for storing belongings.
  1. Educated teachers. In a high-quality program, the lead teachers in each classroom should either have a minimum of an Early Childhood Education Credential or a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification or be in the process of obtaining one. It is preferable that teachers have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, or be in the process of obtaining one. The most current research says the higher the level of education of teaching staff in a program, the higher the quality of the program.
  1. Abundant educational materials and age-appropriate toys. A high-quality early education program will have a wide variety of toys and materials, available to children for a large percentage of the day. The toys and materials must be in good condition.
  1. A developmentally appropriate curriculum. High-quality programs have a curriculum which provides learning experiences for children of all ages. Whether the curriculum is pre-prepared or developed by the teaching staff, it should be developmentally appropriate for the ages of the children. For more information about what constitutes Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Education, go to (National Association for the Education of Young Children).
  1. Administrative staff will be helpful and friendly. In order for a high-quality early education program to run smoothly and provide excellent customer service, a top-notch administrative staff must be in place. Families must be treated with respect, kindness and understanding. Questions should be answered promptly and family concerns addressed immediately.
  1. Children MUST be the bottom line. Whether a program is a for-profit or a not-for-profit organization, the children must be the ONLY reason the organization exists. This attitude will be reflected in everything you see.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A high-quality program must answer every question to your satisfaction, or it is not the right program for your child.