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Youth Development

Howard R. Levine Child Development Center Recognized for Highest Quality

Innovative partnership to address achievement gap earns North Carolina’s 5 star rating

By Anonymous

September 11, 2018

[Charlotte, NC – September 11, 2018] – The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education have awarded the Howard R. Levine Child Development Center (HLCDC) at Renaissance West its 5 star rating, the highest achievement for licensed child care programs in the state.
The HLCDC is part of the Renaissance West Community Initiative’s (RWCI) cradle-to-career education pipeline providing children and families with high-quality education, housing and community wellness programs at The Renaissance neighborhood, which is located at the former Boulevard Homes public housing site. Opening its doors in January 2018, the HLCDC serves 105 children and is operated by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, which is nationally recognized for its effective literacy and early childhood development programs addressing the academic achievement gap.
The center addresses potential achievement gaps before the area’s youngest students enter the community’s new CMS Pre-K-8 school, Renaissance West STEAM Academy. It will also serves as a stable childcare option for parents who work nearby or commute along Billy Graham Parkway or West Boulevard.
“Our intention has always been to provide the highest quality education for the children in this community,” said William “Mack” McDonald, Jr., CEO of RWCI. “The 5-star rating is an early indicator that we are on the right track and that the YMCA is the right partner to deliver on our vision here at the Howard Levine Child Development Center.”
“Together, RWCI and the Y stand united to reorganize systems and eliminate barriers to a better life for our kids and families,” said Todd Tibbits, YMCA of Greater Charlotte CEO. “Achieving the 5 star rating is no easy task and represents a big milestone in our organizations’ efforts.”
Child care programs are evaluated by the state on three basic components – staff education, program standards and quality. The star rating recognizes child care programs that provide higher quality care and helps parents make an informed decision when choosing a program for their child. The HLCDC serves children from infancy through five years of age.
The development of the HLCDC was made possible by a $1 million lead gift from former Family Dollar CEO Howard R. Levine, and RWCI raised more than $6 million for its construction. Other contributors to the center included the Charlotte Housing Authority, the C.D. Spangler Foundation, Jerry and Rosalind Richardson, the Cato Corporation and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Foundation.
About Renaissance West Community Initiative
Renaissance West Community Initiative is the lead nonprofit organization for community development programs and services at The Renaissance. One of more than 19 Purpose Built Communities in the United States, the community includes 334 units of mixed-income housing and the John T. Crawford Community Center, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and RWCI jointly opened the Renaissance West STEAM Academy, a new Pre-K-8 school, on the site in August 2017. RWCI uses a holistic community redevelopment approach focusing on multiple critical factors including mixed-income housing, educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, health and wellness services and commercial investment. The organization is responsible for developing, coordinating and evaluating a comprehensive array of services and supports, such as health care, out–of-school-time programs and workforce development to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Renaissance West Community Initiative was formed by community leaders in the fall of 2012 and is governed by an 18-member board of directors.
About the YMCA of Greater Charlotte                         
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 membership locations and two resident camps, engages nearly 300,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for more than 140 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information visit www.ymcacharlotte.org