30 Things Families Recognize About NAEYC-Accredited Programs

Since 1985, NAEYC Accreditation has been the gold standard for excellence in the field of early childhood education, currently accrediting more than 7,000 programs that serve more than 600,000 children.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of NAEYC Accreditation, we are releasing a series of top-30 lists, each focusing on a particular aspect of the accreditation process. Our goal is to provide you with a fun, behind-the-scenes look at the NAEYC Accreditation process.

This month, we focus on families. Families with young children face many challenges when it comes to child care. Inability to recognize high-quality education should not be one of them.

By using its 10 Early Childhood Program Standards, NAEYC Accreditation helps families effectively recognize high-quality early childhood education and feel comfortable knowing their children are receiving early care and education that helps prepare them for future success in school and in life.

Keep reading for a preview, or visit our website to see the full list of 30 Things Families Recognize About NAEYC-Accredited Programs.

  1. The program promotes positive relationships among children and adults. It encourages each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community, which fosters children’s desire to contribute as a responsible community member.

  2. While NAEYC Accreditation does not prescribe a specific curriculum, families know that NAEYC-accredited programs implement a curriculum that is consistent with the program’s goals for children. Families can see that the curriculum promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language and literacy.

  3. Families understand that children have different learning styles, needs, capacities, interests, cultures, backgrounds, and even languages. They love that NAEYC-accredited programs honor these differences,  using developmentally appropriate teaching approaches to incorporate children’s cultures and languages—and other elements of their differing backgrounds—into the curriculum to enrich each child’s learning and development.

  4. NAEYC-accredited programs evaluate children’s learning using a variety of assessment methods, such as observations, checklists, and rating scales.

  5. NAEYC-accredited programs promote the nutrition and health of children and protect children and staff from illness and injury. Children must be healthy and safe in order to learn and grow. Programs must be healthy and safe to support children’s healthy development.

  6. Teachers who have specific knowledge about and skills in child development and early childhood education are likely to provide positive experiences for children. Teachers at NAEYC-accredited programs have the necessary qualifications to promote children’s learning and development and support families’ diverse needs and interests.

  7. Educators and administrators in NAEYC-accredited programs establish and maintain collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings. These relationships are based on mutual trust and respect and are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture.

  8. NAEYC-accredited programs establish relationships with agencies and institutions in the community in order to connect families with resources that support their children’s healthy development and learning.

  9. NAEYC-accredited programs offer a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate child and staff learning and development.

  10. Families receive the program’s written policies and procedures and understand the program’s philosophy and curriculum goals, policies on guidance and discipline, and health and safety procedures.

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