Howard College is proud to announce that Howard Cottage, the on-campus childcare facility, has recently earned a 4-Star Rating as a Texas Rising Star Provider. This exciting milestone follows an 18-month journey dedicated to surpassing the high standards set by the Texas Rising Star program.
“We are excited to reach this level of certification and be acknowledged for the high quality of care we have been providing for years,” said Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President. “The staff’s dedication to the children and families they serve is remarkable and the Texas Rising Star Provider rating is well deserved.”
The Texas Rising Star certification, which holds the Cottage to elevated standards, spans four crucial categories: Director/Staff Qualifications and Trainings, Program Administration, Teacher/Child Interactions, and Indoor/Outdoor Environment. A representative from the Texas Rising Star program conducted multiple site visits verifying the Cottage’s compliance with program requirements including a final assessment.
“This certification process took a little bit longer than expected,” shared McKenzi Reese, Assistant to the Director of Howard Cottage. “In total, it took us about 18 months to complete from start to finish.”
After opening in 2000 through the generosity of the Hall Foundation, Howard Cottage has been a cornerstone of quality childcare in the Howard County community. The center is licensed to serve 75 children, including 16 infants. With current staff and space limitations, they presently serve approximately 55 children and have an ongoing wait list.
As an added bonus to the certification, Howard Cottage will experience benefits such as preferred eligibility for grants, stipends, curriculum, and other materials and equipment.
Quality of care will remain the primary focus as the facility continues to prioritize children’s physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development within a safe and nurturing environment.
“We are immensely proud of our staff for their hard work and dedication to the children and families of Howard Cottage, not just today but every day,” added Shawn Coskey, Howard Cottage Center Director. “We know that parents trust us with their children throughout the day and we take that responsibility seriously.”
As part of the Texas Rising Star program, Howard Cottage will need to undergo recertification every three years, with two unannounced annual monitoring visits per year to ensure continued adherence to the program’s high standards.
Although a wait list is currently in place, Howard Cottage welcomes children from Howard County and surrounding areas, with Howard College students and faculty given enrollment priority.