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For Immediate Release:
September 20, 2005
One Million Children Now Benefit from NAEYC-Accredited Programs
Over 11,000 Child Care, Preschool, Other Programs for Young Children Earn National Mark of Quality
(Washington, D.C.) – More than one million children are now enrolled in child care, preschool, kindergarten, and other early education programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC Accreditation is a widely recognized mark of quality in early childhood education, and there are now 11,185 NAEYC-accredited programs serving young children and families – an increase of 20 percent over the past year.
“Thanks to the significant growth in the number of programs earning NAEYC Accreditation, more than one million children are now benefiting from high-quality early education experiences,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. “The increase in the number of children served by NAEYC-accredited programs is great news, and a sign that many more families, educators, policy makers, and others are making a good investment in early childhood.”
The growing number of NAEYC-accredited programs means that more young children can benefit from quality early education, and get the foundation they need to succeed in school and in life. Research shows that children enrolled in quality programs develop stronger language, mathematics and social skills – especially children from low income families.
The NAEYC Accreditation system, established 20 years ago, sets professional standards for early childhood education, and helps families identify quality early education programs. The voluntary accreditation system is designed for programs for children from birth through five years, including child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs and kindergartens. Programs seeking NAEYC accreditation are measured against national standards of quality for all aspects of an early childhood education program, including: teacher education and qualifications; child-to-teacher ratios; curriculum; and health and safety.
A program begins the accreditation process with an extensive self-study that sets a clear framework for improving education experiences. Program administrators, families, and teachers work together to ensure the accreditation criteria are met. After the program makes necessary improvements, it is observed by independent, professional educators, and then reviewed by a national panel. Early childhood programs that comply with the NAEYC standards are accredited for a five-year period.
The substantial growth in the number programs earning NAEYC Accreditation gives parents more good choices for their children and has also helped drive improvements in the NAEYC Accreditation system. In 2002, the National Commission on Accreditation Reinvention made a series of recommendations based on scientific research and evidence to promote program quality and to increase the reliability and accountability of NAEYC Accreditation. Building on those recommendations, NAEYC and the NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation are making extensive changes to improve the system for children, families, programs, employers, and all other stakeholders.
The reinvented NAEYC Accreditation system – including new NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Performance Criteria – will be formally announced at the next NAEYC Annual Conference, on December 7-10, 2005 in Washington, DC. The new system will be fully implemented in 2006.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.