Provider Highlight: Starling International Childcare Center

VQB5 providers are working hard to learn the CLASS tool and new ways to demonstrate effective teacher-child interactions consistently in their classrooms. Our Child Development Services team provides extensive outreach to let providers know how we can support their professional development goals; however many providers reach out to us directly.

Donna Goff, owner of Starling International Childcare Center, is one of those providers who reached out to ChildSavers’ CDS team. She was looking for support and was then connected with the Virginia Infant and Toddler Specialist Network. Her center, located in the Tuckahoe area in Richmond’s West End, has been serving the community since 1995. According to a Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2022, Starling staff “can fluently communicate in more than 23 languages to help students feel at home while slowly introducing them to English…the organization over the year has received honors including the Literacy Fair of Virginia’s Vision Award.” 

Through conversations with Donna and the center director, Linnea, we were able to meet their needs through in-person training sessions and technical assistance. 

Our team working with their infant, toddler, and twoyearold classrooms was a positive experience for all involved. Our staff had great conversations about how they are already demonstrating high-quality interactions in their classrooms. We also brainstormed ideas and activities to further encourage children’s active exploration and opportunities for building their cognitive skills.

Each teaching team took an active role in their professional development by volunteering information about their strengths and opportunities, asking questions, and being open to new ideas. The staff was highly engaged and interested in learning new ways to support the children they serve. Their positivity and strong relationships were on full display each time we worked together. Each teaching team demonstrated as much care and compassion for each other as they did for the children in their classrooms. English is not the first language for many of the staff and children, and yet they have forged such warm relationships! 

It was encouraging to see the multi-cultural, multi-lingual staff meet the needs of their community’s diverse group of children in such a welcoming atmosphere. The school showcases the diversity of their staff as one of their greatest strengths, and it’s clear that their efforts to embrace cultural diversity are purposeful.  Teachers speak to children in English, as well as their home languages. Teachers’ countries of origin are proudly displayed on a bulletin board at the entrance of their program. 

Thank you to Starling International Childcare Center for reaching out to our program staff. For more information about our Child Development Services, like the ones Donna and her team used, visit here!

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