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For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2006
NAEYC Develops 10 Standards of High-Quality Early Childhood Education
Leader in early education creates checklist for families, strengthens accreditation system
(Washington, D.C.) – The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is helping families make the right choice for their kids by giving them a tool to know whether child care programs, preschools, and kindergartens meet the mark of quality. NAEYC has 10 standards that define excellent programs for young children and an accreditation system to measure whether programs meet those standards. Now NAEYC has created a Quality Checklist of characteristics parents can look for when choosing a program.
“Choosing the right child care program or preschool can seem overwhelming,” says Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. “NAEYC wants to help families feel good about the choices they make. The Quality Checklist is a helpful tool for parents as they begin their search.”
NAEYC’s Quality Checklist provides families with a shorthand way to know whether or not a program provides excelent care and education. High-quality programs should meet the following standards, as outlined in the NAEYC Accreditation system:
- Promote positive relationships for all children and adults
- Implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development – cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social
- Use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches
- Provide ongoing assessments of child progress
- Promote the nutrition and health of children and staff
- Employ and support qualified teaching staff
- Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with families
- Establish and maintain relationships and use resources of the community
- Provide a safe and healthy physical environment
- Implement strong program management policies that result in high-quality service
For more than 20 years, NAEYC has measured the quality of early childhood centers and schools through its voluntary accreditation system. Child care centers, preschools, kindergartens, and other programs serving children from birth through five years are eligible to earn NAEYC Accreditation.
In 2004, NAEYC began a thorough process to revamp its accreditation system to reflect new research and understanding of high quality early learning and to better meet the needs of centers and families. As a result, NAEYC’s new system is more effective, more credible, and more reliable than ever before.
“For decades, NAEYC worked tirelessly to help programs improve,” says Kim McClennahan Means, Senior Director of the NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation. “Our new accreditation system has been improved as well, responding to programs that wanted a more clear and efficient structure and families that wanted a way to feel comfortable that they were choosing a good place for their kids.”
To earn NAEYC Accreditation, child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens must complete a rigorous four-step review process to prove that they are meeting the NAEYC standards, including an on-site visit by a highly-trained NAEYC assessor. There are more than 400 criteria that programs use to demonstrate that they are meeting the standards. NAEYC Accreditation lasts for five years, during which programs must submit annual reports and are subject to unannounced visits to ensure they remain in compliance.
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.