DAFVM Spotlight Employee: Jan Acoff

Every day, Jan Acoff arrives at an in-home child care provider’s house ready to share teaching strategies and learning materials. Her goal: to increase the quality of early learning environments for the infants, toddlers and preschoolers who spend their days in multi-age, in-home settings.

“I have a caseload of 22 providers, and I work with them to improve their Quality Rating and Improvement System scores,” Acoff said. “I provide educational materials and technical assistance lessons on a variety of topics, from business operations to health and safety.”

Acoff travels through several central Mississippi counties to reach providers enrolled in the program, which has served these child care businesses since 2000. In addition to practical, hands-on lessons, she answers any questions providers have about their online coursework to earn the Child Development Associate credential. The online credential program is offered free of charge to NHI participants.

Acoff said she loves her job.

“I enjoy working with the children, doing art activities and dramatic play,” she said. “Language development is a big focus for us, especially with infants and toddlers.”

In Mississippi, in-home child care providers are not required to be licensed, but the Nurturing Homes Initiative’s technical assistance program is designed to help these businesses attain the same high quality standards as licensed centers.

“The overall goal of our work is to help providers become learn about and implement best practices so that all Mississippi children are safe and healthy and can benefit from a high quality, early education environment,” Acoff said.

In her spare time, Acoff enjoys reading, shopping and spending time with family, especially her husband of seven years, Alton.

Editor's note: The Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Spotlight Employee profiles are provided by the Office of Agricultural Communications at Mississippi State. For more information, please click here.

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