I am Mercedes Fleet-Mount, Owner and Program Director of Bright Little Scholars Early Learning Centers. I joined the BAS CoP in September of 2021. When I signed up for the program, I had some knowledge about the BAS. This CoP allowed me to have the breakdown of the BAS with its bi-weekly focus areas. The instructors went step-by-step for each indicator and provided information about the sources of evidence. I, as well as other providers in the program asked questions and offered shared resources to each other. It was great to have the safe space of discussing topics revolving around the BAS and learning about what we should not be doing as program owners.
One of my favorite parts of the CoP was the intensity of the breakdown of the BAS. With questions being asked from myself as well as my peers, I was able to get an understanding of its purpose, the sources of evidence and create an action plan after each class to build better business practices for my program. Understanding the BAS allowed me to implement creating a tax statement document at the end of the year for both myself and parents to sign and also creating an orientation process that is easier for me and new hires. Another favorite part for me was being able to meet other childcare providers, some local and some a little further away, and being able to network. There are people with 10+ years in this industry and I am able to learn from them. I, along with another provider of the group plan to lead this network of providers now that the BAS CoP is completed so that we can continue to assist each other and build relationships.
I think that other providers whether new or needs freshening should have the opportunity of getting into the BAS CoP. For center providers, there should be a PAS CoP as well. It has been an honor to be a part of this program and better my business practices moving forward.
Footnote: The PAS CoP pilot began in September 2022 with 28 center directors participating and providing feedback on the series. Two cohorts of the BAS CoP are being held in FY 22-23. If you are interested in a future offering of the PAS or BAS CoP reach out to Michelle Long firstname.lastname@example.org or Barbara Bredell-Searle email@example.com to express your interest.