The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) works to improve the education quality for young children. It also offers a voluntary way to accredit quality preschool education programs throughout the United States. Since not all preschools have the time or budget to get accredited, the programs that are accredited by NAEYC have a special significance.About NAEYC
The National Association for Nursery Education began in the 1920s and grew its membership significantly in the 1950s. The organization went through dramatic changes in 1964 when it became the NAEYC. In the early 80s, the organization introduced its voluntary accreditation process that was updated and simplified into four steps by 2006. NAEYC has now accredited about 8,000 programs involving early childhood education.Meeting 10 standards
In order to gain accreditation, an early childhood program must meet all the standards summarized below as well as 80 percent of other factors determined by the NAEYC. The standards are based on hundreds of criteria to meet the definition of high quality education.
Early childhood education programs that can follow these standards will likely have the best chance at accreditation:
- Promote positive teacher-child relationships.
- Implement a curriculum that supports learning.
- Teachers should support curriculum goals.
- Requirement of an assessment system for children’s learning.
- Promote children’s health.
- Employ teachers with professional commitment.
- Maintain family relationships.
- Support goals with community resources.
- Keep school physically safe.
- Program management needs to follow policies.
- Enroll in a self-study of essential criteria.
- Submit your application knowing that the formal assessment should be done within a year.
- The NAEYC Academy screens submitted materials.
- An experienced NAEYC representative assesses your application and your site then informs you as to whether your program is accredited, deferred or denied.