Athens State Student Receives National Recognition

Amy Loyd
Amy Loyd

Amy Loyd, a current student in the College of Education at Athens State, has received national recognition for her in-home childcare program, Smarty Britches.

The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) has awarded the country’s top honor of accreditation for high-quality family child care programs to Loyd, operator of Smarty Britches Home Daycare/Early Head Start in Cullman, Alabama.

The NAFCC is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high-quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. The NAFCC administers the only national system accreditation designed for family child care providers. NAFCC accreditation is a rigorous quality improvement system that uses a set of standards to recognize high-quality childcare programs operating in the residence of the childcare professional. In Alabama, almost 11% of licensed family child care programs have achieved this recognition, considerably higher than the 2% nationwide average.

To earn the NAFCC accreditation, Loyd embarked on an extensive process of thorough self-study, training, and quality improvement. Loyd often looked to her mentor, Melinda Carlson, for support. Carlson is with the Family Child Care Partnerships — Accreditation Facilitation Program, or FCCP-AFP, administered by Auburn University. FCCP-AFP is a statewide quality enhancement, accreditation facilitation program funded through a contract with the Alabama State Department of Human Resources. It delivers mentoring, training, technical assistance and financial support to licensed family child care providers in Alabama seeking to attain national accreditation.

 “I love the family aspect of home daycare. The children and families that I serve are my family,” stated Loyd.

Loyd has been an education professional for 24 years and a childcare professional for 18 years. She said her reaccreditation makes Smarty Britches the only nationally accredited home daycare in Cullman County. Loyd will begin her required internship coursework in the Fall of 2023 at Athens State.

Portions of this article were provided courtesy of The Cullman Times.

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