Scott County Head Start receives highest level accreditation in Virginia

Scott County, VA (February 22, 2019) –Scott County Head Start, Shoemaker #4, has achieved a Level 5 accreditation, the highest level a center can receive, in Virginia Quality. By achieving this standard through voluntary participation in Virginia Quality, early learning programs show their staff, families, and community that they are committed to high-quality early learning.

“We are so proud that Shoemaker #4 is one of only three Level 5 rated centers in our region.  This shows the quality of services that the children and families are receiving in Scott County and the dedication and desire for the staff to provide the highest level of services, which is always our goal,” said Cindy Raymond, Child Development Services Coordinator for Scott County Head Start.

The Virginia Quality Levels (1-5) provide a framework for program quality improvement. Each level builds on the one before it, and prepares programs for the level that comes next.  A Level 5 center, like Shoemaker #4, provides children with meaningful learning and play through a variety of materials and activities.  At the center, there are daily, supportive interactions between teachers and children that build social and cognitive learning.

Quality rating and improvement systems exist in most states in the U.S. and are a proven strategy to systematically improve the quality of child care and early learning programs.  Participating in Virginia Quality assures families that the program is committed to offering the very best available care and education according to Virginia’s standards.

In Southwest Virginia, approximately 130 child care providers in participate in Virginia Quality, which is administered in our region through United Way of Southwest Virginia.  United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Childhood Success Team members provide technical assistance to center staff to prepare them for a Virginia Quality rating, which includes on-site classroom assessments, observations of teacher interactions with children, and recommendations for improving the environment for the students.

Travis Staton, president and ceo at United Way of Southwest Virginia, said, “I congratulate Scott County Head Start for this achievement, which is a reflection of the hard work they do every day to help children be prepared to succeed in school and life.  I believe the continuous support of our Childhood Success team has helped an already exemplary program achieve this milestone of the first Level 5 rated center in far Southwest Virginia.”

Scott County Head Start Shoemaker #4 has a capacity of twenty children, who are three- and four-year-olds.


Virginia Quality is leading the way for quality early care & education for Virginia’s children and families.  Virginia Quality offers continuous improvement resources and support to participating child care centers, preschools, and family child care homes across Virginia. Virginia Quality also provides reliable and consistent information about early care and education options so that families can select programs according to their values and priorities.  For more information about Virginia Quality or to see a list of the centers who are working with Virginia Quality, follow this link:


United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change. With a footprint that covers nearly 17% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia programs and initiatives serve the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton.