What is NAEYC?

NAEYC stands for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. First established in 1926, this U.S. non-profit organization is dedicated to promoting high-quality education for children from birth to age 8.

The NAEYC was born out of the concern over the quality of the various nursery school programs being established in the 1920s. Patty Smith Hill, along with a number of notable individuals in the field of early childhood education came together to figure out the best way to ensure that nursery school programs were held to a high standard of quality. The result was a manual for child care centers, which set out standards and methods to follow and ensure an acceptable quality. Today, the NAEYC continues to set out guidelines, representing all of those involved in early childhood education, including teachers, trainers, childcare facility directors, families with young children, policy makers, child advocates and many other groups.

What is NAEYC’s Mission?

NAEYC’s goal is to promote high-quality early years education for all children, from birth age to age 8. The association connects practice, policy and research to advance the quality of care for young children, and support those who teach, care and work with these children.

What is NAEYC’s Impact on Early Childhood Education?

In order to achieve its goals of delivering quality care to all children across the U.S., NAEYC operates a number of initiatives.

  • Preschool Accreditation

    NAEYC offers accreditation for early childhood education programs that follow its health, education and safety standards. This accreditation aims to provide more reliable and accountable preschools and encourage educators to achieve a higher level of excellence.

  • Academic Program Accreditation

    NAEYC also offers accreditation for academic degree programs for future ECEs. The association believes that by setting high standards for early childhood educators, young children will have better access to quality early years education. Though accreditation of higher education programs, NAEYC provides an objective, external evaluation of the ways early childhood professionals are prepared to enter the workforce.

  • Professional Development

    NAEYC provides professional development opportunities and support for early childhood education professionals to assist them in advancing their careers and their knowledge of childhood development. From conferences to face-to-face training, online learning and more, there are plenty of opportunities designed specifically for ECEs.


NAEYC is a trusted resource for the latest trends in early childhood education. From journals and magazines to books, manuals and digital content, the association gives educators access to information and research from experts in the field so they can stay up to date with the latest trends and continue to provide the best quality care possible in their classrooms. Stay tuned to the HiMama blog as we explore more topics related to NAEYC, how it impacts you as an early childhood educator, and what it means for your childcare program to be NAEYC accredited!

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