Great Start to Quality awards Adrian College Baby Bulldog Center 5-Star rating

ADRIAN — The Great Start to Quality Assessment Program recently awarded Adrian College’s Baby Bulldog Center a 5-Star rating in the combined categories of Staff Qualifications and Professional Development, Family and Community Partnerships, Administration and Management, Environment, and Curriculum and Instruction.

The 5-Star rating denotes the Baby Bulldog Center demonstrates the “highest quality” in licensed programs serving children from the ages of 0-12.

Great Start to Quality helps families find the best early learning settings for their children and educators improve the care they give to children by rating daycare facilities through its Quality Assessment Summery Report. The organization uses more than 40 different quality indicators to measure the quality of early childhood programs, aligned with Michigan’s Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs.

MacKenzie Gutt, the Adrian College Baby Bulldog Center director, said she and her staff strive to improve on each category every year because they really care about the children. Gutt absolutely loves her job because of the relationships she builds with the kids.

“Every child has their own challenges, but it’s something you learn from every day,” she said. “And, the reward far outweighs the challenges. It’s something you love to do. You look forward to seeing those kids… they really become part of our family. I care deeply about them”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary scoring changes were implemented to accommodate changes made in programs while following the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs guidelines and recommendations.

Gutt said the cleaning and laundering routines, as well as handwashing in the center became much more intensified because of coronavirus, and the Great Start to Quality assessor who checked the facility awarded a perfect 5.00 score for a Safe and Healthy Environment (Learning Environment). The center also received 5.00 scores in a majority of sections of Schedules and Routines, Adult Child Interaction, and Curriculum Planning and Child Observation.

The Baby Bulldog Center was established in 2016. Its hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Center provides care for children of Adrian College students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. It is a component of the Teacher Education Department and licensed by the State of Michigan. 

The center allows up to 12 children a day.

“With the ratio the state gives us, for every four children we have to have one teacher,” Gutt said. “So, technically with the 12, we are only required to have three teachers. However, I staff on the heavier side so we at least have four teachers in the room at a time, especially with our infants.”

With the number of teachers on hand, Gutt said children usually find one or two who they really bond with. She said parents and guardians really like seeing that kind of connection, as well as all of the activities the kids are involved in as they are being cared for.

“It’s definitely an educational setting,” she said. “We’re working on numbers and shapes, and some of them even know the letters of their names. Obviously, we work on all of the developmental domains.”

 Gutt creates a waiting list when the center is full. Children graduate out of the facility once they turn three years old.

The Baby Bulldog Center is located on the first floor of Valade Hall on the campus of Adrian College, 110 S. Madison St.

For more information, visit adrian.edu or call the Baby Bulldog Center at 517.264.3989.