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For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2006
NAEYC Raises Standards for Preschool, Child Care, Kindergarten
NAEYC Accreditation Is the Mark of Quality for Early Childhood Programs
(Washington, DC) – The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has established new national standards for preschool, child care and kindergarten programs. The 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards outline what the association believes all programs should do to nurture and educate young children. Beginning next month, the standards will be the foundation of the NAEYC Accreditation system, which assesses the quality of early childhood education programs, and helps families make the right choice for kids.
"NAEYC is encouraging all programs for young children to meet these new national standards, which are based on the latest research and the experience of early childhood educators," said Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of NAEYC. "The new program standards are an important step forward for NAEYC Accreditation, for programs working to improve, and for families looking for high-quality programs for their children."
The NAEYC Accreditation system is designed for programs for children from birth through five years, including child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs and kindergartens. Since the voluntary system was created in 1985, the number of programs earning the mark of quality from NAEYC has grown significantly, and today there are more than 11,000 NAEYC-accredited programs, serving nearly one million young children and their families. Many states – and the U.S. military child care system – recognize the value of NAEYC Accreditation and use it as part of their efforts to improve the quality of programs for young children.
The 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards – and more than 400 related criteria – are based on the latest research on the education and development of young children, and were prepared with feedback from thousands of experts and educators from around the country. All NAEYC-accredited programs, and all programs seeking NAEYC Accreditation, must:
- 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
To earn NAEYC Accreditation, child care centers, preschools, kindergartens, and other programs for young children must complete a rigorous four-step review process including an on-site visit , to prove that they meet NAEYC’s program standards. Programs use the accreditation criteria to demonstrate that they are meeting each of the 10 standards. NAEYC Accreditation is awarded for a period of five years, during which programs must submit annual reports and are subject to unannounced visits to ensure they remain in compliance. The NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria are also helpful tools for all programs working to improve, even if they are not seeking NAEYC Accreditation. The NAEYC Self-Study process (the first step toward NAEYC Accreditation) is open to any program serving young children.
NAEYC has spent several years reinventing the accreditation system to reflect new research and understanding of high-quality early learning and to better meet the needs of programs, families and other stakeholders. As part of the reinvention process, the NAEYC Governing Board appointed a Commission on NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. The commission drafted the 10 standards, and worked with teams of educators, administrators and researchers to develop 417 criteria related to the standards. The new standards and criteria were approved by the NAEYC Governing Board in 2005. The reinvention process has also included new policies and procedures designed to make the NAEYC Accreditation system more efficient, reliable, and accountable.
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 nearly 100,000 members, and a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional affiliates. NAEYC and its affiliates work to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education, and to build public support for high-quality early childhood programs.
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.