The White House Day Care 2 in Reading celebrates achieving Keystone STAR 4 Status

A second Hispanic family-owned child care center in Reading has earned Pennsylvania’s highest quality rating.

On Monday, The Pennsylvania Child Care Association held an event to honor The White House Day Care 2’s attainment of STAR 4, the highest level in Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS Quality Rating and Improvement System.

The first White House Day Care was established in 2006 by Maribel Rodriguez in a big white house. As a “group” child care, it was licensed to serve 12 children. Ms. Rodriguez expanded the program in 2013 as White House Day Care 2 Inc, with a capacity of 69 children and quickly attained STAR 2 status.

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In 2019, She was able to relocate White House LLC (the first location), change it to a center status and expand the capacity to serve 119 children at 336 S. 18th St. in Reading. At that time Steven Lara, Maribel’s son, became the full-time General Manager.

Since then, White House Day Care Inc, has implemented several strategies to improve the quality of their centers, such as recognizing the importance of quality staff by raising wages to a $15/hour minimum; establishing pay raises based on employment length, education level, and performance; and utilizing the services of the Early Education component of United Way of Berks County.

The centers, particularly White House Day Care 2 Inc, is located at 726 Washington Street in Reading, worked closely with their Quality Coach at ELRC 13.

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The staff, headed by Director Esther Gonzalez, completed all the requirements to attain STAR 3 on May 1, 2023, and then on June 23, 2023 they achieved STAR 4, the highest rating in the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS Quality Initiative Program.

The event on Monday was attended by Reading Mayor Eddie Moran, Senator Judy Schwank, State Rep. Manny Guzman, Barbara Starkey, Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) 13 Regional Director, Mary Jimenez, Early Childhood and Community Engagement Program Manager, Berks County United Way, Marilyn Tout, ELRC Quality Coach and Michelle Wunder, PACCA Regional Ambassador, Start Strong PA.

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