Kelly Fleming leads a program, Wilderland, in Langlois, Oregon. Wilderland always sought to grow and develop to serve their children and their community. CARE Connections, Coos & Curry Counties’ CCR&R, received funds through the Early Childhood Professional Development grant to support a cohort of providers to take classes and move forward towards Quality Rating and Improvement system (QRIS) star ratings. QRIS stars are awarded to participating early learning programs that meet a defined set of quality standards. Kelly was on the list of potential providers to be invited to participate that were in close striking distance for stars.
Kelly took the chance to be part of QRIS and worked closely with her QRIS Specialists. She worked on developing Wilderland’s portfolio, articulating their policies and procedures, and looking holistically at their programming. Wilderland’s staff, a team of early learning professionals, attended required classes, spent the time to document their quality and improve where they found they could extend their work, and finally the day came to submit their portfolio.
Wilderland was the first private center on the southern Oregon coast to submit a portfolio and to receive a star rating! The culmination of the process wrapped up with a visit and a dinner in rural Port Orford at the sunset hour with Megan Irwin, Director of the Early Learning Division, the local South Coast Regional Early Learning Hub Director, and other early childhood partners. In their honor, as the first private center to receive a star rating, a star has been named after their center: Wilderland.