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For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2008
NAEYC Gives Parents New Tool in Annual Search for Early Education Programs
National outreach geared towards Parents and H.R. Professionals looking for high-quality accredited programs
(Washington, D.C.) – The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) today released Choosing Accreditation: A guide to recognizing quality early childhood education for parents, policymakers, and human resource professionals nationwide. NAEYC’s national accreditation system is the largest system for accrediting child care centers, preschool and kindergarten programs, and is recognized by parents, teachers and public officials as defining the highest level of program quality.
“NAEYC’s system for accrediting early childhood education programs is rigorous and, based on research on what is best for children’s development and learning,” said Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph. D., Executive Director of NAEYC. “Programs that achieve NAEYC Accreditation have the mark of high-quality that parents, the public, and policymakers can rely upon to make the right choice for children.”
Millions of families use early childhood education programs to nurture and educate their young children. The range of quality among programs is vast, and parents need ways to understand what signs of high-quality early learning environments for their children. Simply put, research shows that quality does matter.
Choosing Accreditation was developed to inform parents in an easy-to-understand way of the standards and reliable process that NAEYC accredited programs meet in order to receive NAEYC’s recognition of high-quality. The chart shows that NAEYC Accreditation is the very best early childhood accreditation system in the nation. For human resource professionals, this is a tool that will help them inform and advise employees of how to select high-quality child care and preschool programs. For policymakers, it is a way to ensure that linking their incentives and rewards for programs that achieve NAEYC accreditation is the right policy. Choosing Accreditation provides publicly available information on national accrediting bodies. according to the elements that establish high-quality early learning environments. All systems in the guide are national in scope and available to child care, preschool and kindergarten programs regardless of their status as for- profit or nonprofit, religious-affiliated or secular.
NAEYC's voluntary accreditation system, created in 1985, is the nation’s largest and most rigorous system for accrediting child care centers, preschools and kindergarten programs. NAEYC Accreditation revised its standards and criteria as well as the process for programs and assessors in 2006 to keep pace with new research and to improve the system. Currently, NAEYC accredited programs serve 750,000 families in nearly 10,000 programs in every state. Currently, the association reaches approximately 8% of the nation’s young children in early childhood programs. Achieving NAEYC Accreditation includes:
- Committing to four steps of accreditation (Enrollment in Self-Study, Application and Self-Assessment, Candidacy, and Meet and Maintain Standards);
- Undergoing onsite reviews of programs by well-trained assessors that is part of the decision process for awarding accreditation;
- Meeting each of the ten Early Childhood Program Standards that represent the elements of high-quality programs (curriculum, teaching, health, assessment of child progress, relationships, teacher qualifications, partnerships with families and the community, physical environment, and leadership and management); and
- Upholding NAEYC accreditation by continuing to meet all standards over a 5-year accreditation term, submitting annual reports, and undergoing random, unannounced visits by NAEYC.
Over the years, others have developed national early childhood accreditation systems. The Choosing Accreditation guide clearly shows the differences among those systems and NAEYC Accreditation. The chart provides a tool for parents, human resources personnel, child care resource and referral agencies, school systems, and policymakers to help them distinguish these between these systems.
To search for an NAEYC Accredited program, please visit www.rightchoiceforkids.org.
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 United States.
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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.