Sara Swanson

Local preschool receives “quality rating”

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Manchester Early Childhood Center (MECC), located in the Ackerson Building at 410 City Road, has received a quality rating from Great Start to Quality. Great Start to Quality rates the level of quality of all licensed and registered child care and preschool programs in Michigan.

“Making sure we provide children in our care with the best experience possible, is not only our job, it’s our privilege,” said Courtney Nichols, newly hired director of MECC. “By participating in Great Start to Quality we earn recognition for our hard work and the system also provides ongoing support and training so we can keep improving the quality of care we provide.”

All but one state has a quality rating system either under way or in the works. The move comes as research shows learning begins at birth and high-quality child care and preschool can help children succeed in school, work and life. In Michigan, programs and providers can earn between one and five stars, based on the number of state standards they meet. The ratings are posted at

In the last year, close to 100,000 Michigan families used to search for child care. “Not only can families use the website to find high-quality child care, but as a provider of that care, now we have access to ongoing training and opportunities to continuously work to improve our quality of care,” said Nichols.

To learn more about Great Start to Quality, go to To learn more about MECC, visit

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