What is NAEYC Accreditation & Should You Consider It?

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is the governing body in the United States who defines the gold standard for early childhood education and care. Preschools and child care centers who would like to become NAEYC accredited must undergo a thorough review process to ensure they meet NAEYC’s high level of standards. Only those who meet and exceed these standards can become NAEYC accredited preschools.

Across the US, NAEYC accreditation is recognized as an indicator of high-quality education for children. It represents the strongest system available to review early childhood education programs and provide them with the resources and support they require to continually improve their child care programs in order to meet NAYEC’s stringent standards.

So, How Can My Preschool Become NAEYC Accredited?

NAEYC accreditation logoIn order to achieve NAEYC accreditation for your preschool, you must first aim to meet the NAEYC program standards. These standards have been developed with the latest early childhood education research in mind.

These 10 standards include:

  • Promoting positive relationships between children and adults.
  • Implementing a curriculum that promotes learning and development.
  • Using developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches.
  • Implementing a systematic assessment for children’s learning, both formally and informally.
  • Promoting the health and nutrition of children.
  • Employing and supporting teachers who are committed and have appropriate qualifications.
  • Maintaining collaborative relationships with families.
  • Identifying community resources to support program goals.
  • Maintaining a safe and healthy physical environment.
  • Having program management follow policies to maintain high-quality experiences for children, families, and staff.

If your preschool chooses to apply for NAEYC accreditation, you will enter into a rigorous four-step process.

Step 1:

Enrollment in a self-study. Your preschool will study its performance relative to the NAEYC’s standards and criteria using tools developed by NAEYC and make any necessary improvements.

Step 2:

Submission of an application. Your preschool’s formal assessment must be completed within a year and you must be confident that you meet NAEYC’s standards.

Step 3:

Your submitted materials will be reviewed by the NAEYC Academy, and an on-site assessment will be scheduled.

Step 4:

Your preschool will be screened by a NAEYC representative during a site visit, and after a review, will inform you if your center has been accredited, deferred, or denied.

How NAEYC Accreditation Can Help Your Business

Through the NAEYC accreditation process, you’ll work to develop a stronger team of educators, administrators and families who are working together to improve the quality of learning and care for children. Becoming NAEYC accredited can also have a major impact on your preschool’s ability to attract and retain parents and their children. When parents see that your early childhood education program is NAEYC accredited, they can feel comfortable knowing that their child will be receiving high-quality, developmentally appropriate education in a safe and healthy environment.

For more information on the benefits of becoming a NAEYC accredited preschool, visit the NAEYC website.

  Love this post? Subscribe to HiMama Education News and Updates to receive these articles directly to your inbox.. In upcoming articles we continue to explore the benefits of accrediation through membership associations like NAEYC.

Ron Spreeuwenberg

Ron is the Co-Founder & CEO of HiMama, where he leads all aspects of a social purpose business that helps early childhood educators improve learning outcomes for children.