Verner is an early learning program of distinction. Visit our website: www.vernerearlylearning.org

Mission and Goals

Verner is an early learning program of distinction where young children thrive, families flourish, and early childhood professionals excel. Founded in 1998, the heart of Verner's mission is to achieve the best developmental outcomes possible for children in our programs and throughout the western North Carolina region, through these four cornerstones: 1) High Quality Early Care and Education, 2) Supportive Family Services, 3) Health and Nutrition Services, and 4) Teacher Education.

Verner is dedicated to maintaining an economically and socially diverse program of early care and education, with children at all income levels and circumstances. We directly serve 178 children aged 0-5 and their families in targeted rural areas of Buncombe County. Currently:

· 80% of Verner families are considered low-income, and most of those live at or below the poverty level, according to federal income guidelines.

· People of color comprise 46% of Verner’s programs.

· 31% do not speak English as their primary language.

· Single female-led households comprise 40% of Verner families.

· 24% of our children have an identified disability.

Programs

1. High Quality Early Care and Education: Verner offers a comprehensive research-based approach in two 5-star childcare centers and through a home-based program. Verner is committed to the holistic support of the whole child, strong partnerships with families, a strong literacy program, strong health and nutrition programs, mental health and disability consultation, indoor and outdoor learning environments, and individual observations of each child’s developmental progress. We define success as helping all children in our programs to meet or surpass their developmental goals.

2. Supportive Family Services: There is a growing body of research, affirmed in the statewide foundation report Education is the Foundation that “children’s school performance intertwines with their family and economic conditions.” At Verner, teachers well-trained in early education work together with social workers & specialists on our staff, in partnership with families, to 1) set developmental goals for their children, 2) connect them with resources at Verner and in the wider community, and 3) set goals for their family and use our programs to improve their lives by standards meaningful to them. This joint venture, with the child at the center, knits together school readiness for children with the long-term social and economic stability of their families.

3. Health Services: Health is important for a child’s optimal development. By screening early and often, we are able to offer supportive developmental services and connect families to doctors, dentists, developmental specialists, and other health professionals, to keep the health needs of children on track. We also value wholesome, nutritious food for children; Verner’s food service program called A Rainbow in My Tummy ensures that our children are eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein varieties and are avoiding trans-fats, high-fructose corn syrup and added sodium.

4. Teacher Education: Caring adults with the knowledge and skills to meet children’s developmental needs are vitally important to all children. Verner hires well-qualified teachers who have specialized degrees in early childhood education, AND we provide support for all children in the region by teaching and demonstrating best practices for early care and education. We host workshops for teachers in the region; and, local, state, national and international early childhood professionals tour our facilities regularly. We serve as a model training facility for students from several area colleges and universities, like Warren Wilson College, Western Carolina University, and AB Tech, who come to Verner to complete internships, take classes, and serve/learn in the classrooms.

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    Verner is an early learning program of distinction. Visit our website: www.vernerearlylearning.org
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