Grin and Grow’s Purpose
- To provide affordable infant and preschool-aged child care and preschool services to the community.
- To provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for the child.
- To promote the child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth and development.
- To provide the child with an educational environment that is developmentally appropriate to the age of the child, addresses the child’s individual needs, and allows the child to develop at his/her own rate.
- To promote the elimination of racism, sexism and child abuse
- To provide the child with positive experiences that acknowledges differing family life styles and values.
- To provide opportunities to parents to enhance their parenting skills.
- To provide child care and developmental programming to children that are at-risk, have been abused or have spedial developmental needs.
- To promote community education and outreach on child care, parenting skills or other issues in early childhood education.
Background of the Agency
Grin and Grow is a private, non-profit child care agency founded in 1943 by the Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls. Originally inteneded as a nursery for the children of women working in the local plants during World War II, it continued to provide child care services to working parents after the war under the Junior League until incorparting under the name of Grin and Grow as a self standing childre care agency. Grin and Grow currently operates two child care centers in Waterloo. The Pinecrest Center is located at 1407 Independence Ave. in Black Hawk County’s Pinecrest Human Services Building. The West 4th Street Center is located at 608 West 4th Street in the First Congregational Church.
Grin and Grow’s offers preschool services for children ages 3 – 5 years old, and full and part day child care for infants 6 weeks old to 5 years of age. Classrooms are divided primarily by age, though some overlap may occur due to an individual child’s developmental readiness. Classrooms are staffed according to state licensing regulations, with 1 staff person being required for every 4 infants, 1 staff person for every 6 two-year olds, every 8 three-year olds, and every 12 four year-olds and above.
Our centers are open Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Both centers are closed for all major holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Centers also close with the Waterloo Schools during winter snow days.
All classrooms provide programming and activities designed to assist the child in developing and enhancing their self-esteem, speech and language skills, large and small motor skills, cognitive learning skills, and self help skills. Curriculum generally follows seasonal and developmental themes that are consistent throughout each center, though geared to the developmental skill level of the individual classroom. All preschool classrooms are lead by a teacher with a degee in Ealry Childhood Education or Child Development.
Open Door Policy
Grin and Grow has an “open door” policy with respect to parental visitation and involvement. Parents are invited to observe and participate in their child’s classroom whenever they wish. Parents are kept informed of their child’s activities at each center through weekly communications, newsletters, posted notices, progress reports, and special events. Parents are also surveyed twice a year to evaluate how responsivie center services are to parent needs and gauge satisfaction levels with the services being provided.
Parents are also encouraged to serve on the agency’s Board of Directors and on any of its standing committees (Program Review, Marketing, Finance, Fundraising or Human Resources) as well as any special task groups that are formed during each program year (eg., playground committee, family picnic).
Healthy Minds and Bodies
Grin and Grow knows that proper nutrition is important for the development of young children. Grin and Grow participates in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Nutrition Program to ensure that your child’s daily nutritional needs are met. In exchange for providing meals and snacks that meet USDA guidelines with regards to quantity and quality of foods served, nutritional education, and other nutrition related activities, the agency receives a partial reimursement on its food cost so that no extra charge is made to you for any meal or snack served to your child throughout the day.
Regulation and Inspection
Grin and Grow’s centers are licensed and inspected by the Iowa Department of Human Services to ensure that are centers meet all state requirements regarding health and safety, staff requirements and qualifications and program services. Both centers are also inspected by the BHC Health Department of Education and Waterloo Fire Department. Both centers have a “4-star” quality rating under Iowa’s Quality Review System (QRS).