Dear Early Care and Education Professionals,
Welcome to West Virginia Childcare Centers United (WVCCU), a non profit professional childcare providers organization created to act as the "voice" for children, their families, and early care and education professionals and advocates across the state. The WVCCU was formed by the merger of two former organizations, West Virginia Association of Child Care Centers and Directors on a Mission in 2001.
As you read the remainder of this introductory letter, please ask yourself the following questions: 1) If I am not a member of the WVCCU, why should I consider joining? 2) If I am a member of the WVCCU, what can I do to improve the delivery of quality services for our children and their families? and 3) If I am a member of the WVCCU, what can I do to improve the operation of our WVCCU organization? I will address each question with this letter.First, why should non-members consider joining our organization? In a nutshell, the answer to this question is ‘together, we are much stronger than any of us acting independently.' Our industry is undergoing tremendous changes - changes that will surely cause us to redefine the way we do business if we are to remain viable under this rapidly changing economic and political landscape. Although there are many underlying causes for these changes, I propose to you that two of the "causes" will account for more changes than all the rest combined. The two causes of which I speak are the Pre-K movement and the demand for quality outputs.Leading the way to massive changes in our industry is the Pre-K movement as dictated by Policy 2525. The delivery of services to our state's 4-year-old population will drastically impact all of us - so much so that more than 80 childcare centers have already closed their doors, arguably due in large measure to Pre-K issues. To avoid even further reductions in our ability to do business in the state, we must all; 1) become as knowledgeable as possible in every component and issue regarding Pre-K, including contracting with our local boards of education; and 2) maximize all available resources.
The second major change in our industry will be stakeholders' demand for quality services. We are now operating in a global economy where "good is simply not good enough any more." Everyone taking the time and effort to read this letter is not only interested in providing a quality output, but have definite ideas about how to deliver quality products in the most efficient and effective means possible. In order to be extraordinary in our field, we need merely to "pool" our ideas and experiences into one inseparable and distinct operating methodology. Communication is the key to success in this area.
During my tenure, I will work diligently with the Executive Committee and current membership to increase WVCCU membership by 25% per year and to develop a communication infrastructure and operating methodology that will encourage and enable collaborative efforts between all members and all stakeholders. If we work together, we will be successful!
In answering the second and third question posed earlier, how can current members positively affect the delivery of quality services and improve the operation of the WVCCU? Amongst our membership are knowledge and abilities far more than sufficient to make our industry extraordinary. All we need do is become as active in our cause as we possibly can, giving normal time and financial restraints. We will continue to provide conferences and professional meetings just as my predecessors did and during these meetings, I will ask each current member to act as informational conduits for any early care and education professional that may be interested (or needs to be interested) in joining our organization.
As stated in the famous motto of one of our neighboring states, "United we stand, divided we fall." During my tenure as President of the West Virginia Childcare Centers United, I will continue to recruit the services of all early care and education providers (within and outside the state of West Virginia) to actively join and/or participate in all aspects of our organization and together, continue the status West Virginia currently enjoys as the state for quality outcomes in early care and education, including one of the leaders of Pre-K initiatives.
Jeanette Barker, President WVCCU