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For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2005
NAEYC Accredits 10,000th Program for Young Children
(Washington, D.C.) - The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has accredited more than 10,000 child care, preschool and other programs for young children, an increase of 25 percent over the past two years.
Since NAEYC created its accreditation system in 1985, NAEYC Accreditation has become a widely recognized sign of high quality in early childhood education programs. Today there are 10,130 NAEYC-accredited programs, serving more than 850,000 young children and their families. In 2003 there were 8,000 early childhood programs accredited by NAEYC, and in 1995 there were 4,500. View the summary of NAEYC-Accredited programs by state.
"The growing number of programs earning NAEYC Accreditation is a sign of many people working together to improve early learning opportunities for children," said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. "Families, early childhood educators, employers and others recognize that high-quality child care and preschool programs make a valuable difference for young children, and that NAEYC Accreditation is a crucial process for programs that want to improve."
NAEYC established its accreditation system 20 years ago 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 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 that go well beyond state health and safety licensing requirements. The accreditation criteria address 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 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 substantial growth in the number of NAEYC-accredited programs also helped drive an effort to improve the NAEYC Accreditation system. In 2002, the National Commission on Accreditation Reinvention - appointed by the NAEYC Governing Board - made a series of recommendations to promote higher 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 the other stakeholders who rely on it.
The reinvented NAEYC Accreditation system—including new NAEYC early childhood program standards and revised 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.