What is Sheltering Arms Sheltering Arms is Georgia's oldest nonprofit early childhood education program, and one of its most respected. Our mission is to serve working families with high quality, affordable child care and education and comprehensive support services, as well as to provide professional development for early childhood educators and community outreach. Founded by Atlanta volunteers in 1888, Sheltering Arms now annually serves more than 3, 600 children, ages six weeks to five years old, and their families, in 17 centers in 7 metro Atlanta counties. Sheltering Arms is a tax-exempt 501 ( c ) Sheltering Arms has been nationally recognized for the success of its school readiness program. Our honors include: National Recognition for Quality. In 1946, Sheltering Arms was one of the first child care programs in the country to be accredited by the Child Welfare League of America, and currently 12 Sheltering Arms centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children ( NAEYC ). Sheltering Arms' curriculum, teacher qualifications, facilities, and health and safety procedures are administered based on the highest quality standards in the industry, and are consistent in all Sheltering Arms centers. National Head Start Association Program of Excellence, Head Start's highest award for quality. Only 21 of the nation's 2600 Head Start programs have earned this honor. Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning ( DECAL ) Centers of Distinction. Only 2% of Georgia centers have achieved this recognition. DECAL uses Sheltering Arms as a best practices demonstration site for staff training. 2007 Managing for Excellence Award Finalist. Recognized by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for outstanding managerial achievement and thoughtful planning. Achieved all 1800 Federally-Legislated Head Start Performance Standards, according to 2007 review by a team of national experts.