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For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2004
Chicago, Washington, Houston Top Cities for High-Quality Child Care and Preschool
(Washington, D.C.) - Chicago, Washington, and Houston are the cities with the most child care, preschool, and other early childhood programs accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC Accreditation is widely recognized as a mark of a high-quality early childhood program, and as a resource for families looking for programs for their children.
Nationally, the number of child care, preschool and other early childhood programs accredited by NAEYC has grown by over 45 percent in the past five years, and today there are 8,069 accredited programs serving more than 700,000 young children. This growth is a clear sign of increasing demand for high-quality early education among families, employers and policy makers. It's also a sign of the commitment that local leaders have made to support early childhood programs that are trying to improve.
"The improvements in early childhood education programs in cities like Chicago, Washington, and Houston would not have happened without the support of local leaders," said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. "There are a number of cities that are working to support the improvement efforts of early childhood education programs. We hope they will continue these efforts, so that many more young children can benefit from high-quality early education programs, and get a great start on learning."
NAEYC established its accreditation system in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality early childhood programs. The voluntary accreditation system is designed for child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs, and other programs for young children.
Programs seeking NAEYC accreditation are measured against national standards of quality that go well beyond state health and safety licensing requirements. The accreditation criteria address all aspects of an early childhood education program, including teacher qualifications and development, child-to-teacher ratios, curriculum, and health and safety. A program begins the accreditation process with an extensive self-study to determine how well it meets these criteria. After the program makes necessary improvements, it is observed by independent, professional validators, and then reviewed by a national panel. Early childhood programs that demonstrate substantial compliance with the NAEYC standards are accredited for a five-year period.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through age eight. Founded in 1926, the organization now has more than 100,000 members, and a national network of nearly 450 local, state and regional affiliates. NAEYC and its affiliates work to improve professional practice in early childhood education, and to build public support for high-quality early childhood programs.
NAEYC-Accredited Early Childhood Education Programs, by City As of December 2003
|Chicago, Illinois||223||Atlanta, Georgia||40|
|Washington, DC||79||Boston, Massachusetts||27|
|Houston, Texas||69||Dallas, Texas||39|
|Phoenix, Arizona||62||Los Angeles, California||28|
|New York, New York||61*||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||30|
|Tampa, Florida||56||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||40|
|Miami, Florida||49||San Diego, California||32|
|Tucson, Arizona||47||Worcester, Massachusetts||43|
* = includes all five boroughs of New York City.
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.