Dana Richardson and her husband John Richardson opened the doors to Life Center Academy five years ago. As a team, they both manage and operate Life Center Academy and work together to provide quality child care to Pueblo County.
Dana and John strive for excellence in all aspects of their child care and are continually looking for ways to improve their center. Since 2015, Life Center Academy has been a partner of ELV, and participates in the Quality Child Care Partnership (QCCP). Being a part of QCCP, there are specific quality improvement goals that the site has to meet, according to Early Head Start (EHS). Dana and John work diligently to not only meet these goals but to always go above and beyond. Together with the assistance of an ELV Specialist, Life Center Academy works to continually grow the quality of their program.
Life Center Academy seeks out opportunities to improve their center and makes sure their teachers and children have fresh and healthy food options daily. Dana actively participates in the grant, Cook up Healthy Options with Plants (CHOP), which helps her center teach about healthy eating through interactive learning by growing gardens. In addition, Life Center Academy takes part in ELV’s Healthy Options for Preschoolers (HOP) program. This program teaches parents and children about healthy snack options through recipes and live demonstrations. Dana also ensures the children in her care receive fresh fruits and vegetables by purchasing these items from a local farmer.
In addition, Dana earned her AIM4Excellence National Credential, a rigorous program for child care administrators to further their knowledge of quality in the classroom. Dana applies the knowledge she learned from AIM4Excellence daily by being proactive instead of reactive. Dana monitors the classrooms daily, checks in with her teachers, develops shadow plans with new teachers and makes sure that the teachers are a good fit for the center and vice versa.
Life Center Academy also just received their high Colorado Shines Rating of a Level 4. Colorado Shines rating ranges from 1-5 (with 5 being the highest), rating child cares across the state based on their quality of care.
Dana and John love what they do so much that they are currently in the process of opening an additional center. Thank you to everyone at Life Center Academy for providing and continually improving quality child care to Pueblo County! We appreciate all that you do and are proud to be your partner!