Monthly Archives: September 2012

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Our House is happy to report that we have finalized our updated Strategic Plan.

Our Board and staff worked very hard over the last several months to develop a new three-year strategic plan for the organization. The goal of the strategic planning process was to identify the local needs which Our House could address, to determine the most effective course of action, and to decide on important initiatives to ensure the ongoing success of the organization.

As a result of the comprehensive process, we have identified the following priorities for the next three years:

  • Deepen program impact and identify avenues for growth and expansion
  • Increase community awareness about Our House and about issues facing homeless families
  • Increase and diversify financial resources to ensure long-term sustainability
  • Enhance data processes to more effectively track, measure and report program success

We want to thank you for your support as we continue on this journey.  Because of your continued giving, Our House has been able to expand our facilities, double the number of children and families we serve, increase staff capacity from a team of 14 to 24, and start an endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability of our programs and services.

We look forward to keeping you informed about our progress as we move into our 25thanniversary year of service to Metro Atlanta’s homeless children and families.

Dimensional Designs Provides Classroom Upgrades

During the week of August 6th – 10th, a 3-man installation crew from Dimensional Design, a Lawrenceville-based design firm, installed brand new cabinets in all of the classrooms in Our House’s Early Childhood Education Center. The project was a part of Dimensional Design’s Project 25, a series of 25 service projects that the company will complete from now through 2013 as one way to commemorate their 25th anniversary in business.

The cabinets not only enhance the aesthetics of the Our House classrooms but also provide teachers with much-needed additional storage space. How fitting that we begin our 25th year with this wonderful gift.

On behalf of all of us at Our House and on behalf of the homeless children and families we serve, we thank the builders of Dimensional Designs for their generosity; and we wish them another 25 years of business success!

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Our House Earns NAEYC Reaccreditation!

Our House, Inc., a non profit charitable organization helping homeless families with young children in the Metro Atlanta area get back on their feet, proudly announces that its Early Childhood Education (ECE) Center has successfully achieved NAEYC reaccreditation.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the leading organization for those working with and on behalf of children from birth through age 8 in the United States. NAEYC sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs and accredits programs that meet these standards.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Our House went through an extensive renewal process, providing evidence of our ECE’s program compliance with the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards, as well as compliance with over 400 Accreditation Criteria. The process concluded with a comprehensive site visit conducted by NAEYC Assessors who observed ECE programs in action, reviewed renewal material, interviewed teachers and administrators, and conducted a thorough indoor/outdoor assessment of our ECE facilities. In addition, as a NAEYC accredited site, Our House will be subject to unannounced visits during the five-year period of accreditation.

Our House is proud to report that we met 100% of each of the ten NAEYC Program Standard Criteria. We met all of the NAEYC Candidacy Requirements; and our classrooms met an average of over 98% of the criteria Assessors evaluated during the onsite observations.

Nationally, only 8% of early childhood education centers earn NAEYC accreditation. In Georgia, only 4% of early childhood education centers are NAEYC accredited. Our House first earned NAEYC Accreditation in 1995 and has successfully maintained the distinction ever since. Today, Our House is the only NAEYC accredited childcare center primarily serving homeless children and families from throughout Metro Atlanta.

Our ECE program provides free childcare and early childhood education to Atlanta-Decatur homeless children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Our House is a childcare assistance and homeless support center which operates year-round, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and serves a maximum of 81 children each day giving women the opportunity to look for jobs and housing. All children receive periodic health check-ups, required immunizations, and nutritious meals and snacks. Program activities are designed to nurture children’s physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional development. The goal of the Our House ECE program is to help children in Atlanta and Decatur be prepared for academic and social success in kindergarten and beyond.

Our House looks forward to maintaining the high standards set forth by NAEYC in delivering a quality early education to the homeless children of Metro Atlanta.

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