Alabama Department of Human Resources Develops New Early Learning Guidelines
Licensed daycares and preschools across the state now have new guidelines put into place for the care of
young children. These new guidelines developed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources are a
result of collaboration between DHR and various other child advocate offices and their representatives
across the state including, but not limited to, the Alabama Head Start Association, State Department of
Education, Alabama Partnership for Children, and the Office of School Readiness. These standards are a
part of the national education reform effort where every state is required to develop statewide guidelines to
promote early learning. Alabama’s Early Learning Guidelines are written to promote continuity of high
quality care and learning for children form birth through five years of age.
To receive Alabama’s Credential of Certification in these new standards, 18 hours of specialized training in
each of the 9 categories of child development in these guidelines are required. On December 11, 2008,
Melissa Callaway Moody became the first Preschool Director in Baldwin County to be awarded certification
in this new State of Alabama Early Learning Guidelines. Ms. Moody has been the Owner and Director of
Discovery Island Child Development Center in Orange Beach, Alabama since its opening.
Ms. Moody stated, “It is important to me to offer the highest quality child care I can to the families of South
Baldwin County. Being licensed by the State of Alabama assures families that a level of care is being met
at Discovery Island as required by the State of Alabama’s Minimum Standards. Because we are licensed,
the Center is regularly inspected; which is a parent’s assurance that these high standards are being met.
My goal of becoming certified in these new Early Learning Guidelines as soon as they were published
came from my desire to continue to do everything I can to keep Discovery Island a top quality facility for
children’s care and education. We have already put into practice the new developmental guidelines and
checklists recommended by these new standards at Discovery Island.