Child & Family Studies Center

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NAEYC Accreditation

Congratulation, parents! You have chosen an early childhood program for your child that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC administers the largest and most widely recognized national, voluntary, professionally sponsored accreditation system for all types of early childhood schools and child care centers. NAEYC is the nation's largest organization of early childhood educators.

What is accreditation?

Early childhood programs accredited by NAEYC's National Academy of Early Childhood Programs have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study, invited external professional review to verify compliance with the Criteria for High-Quality Early Childhood Programs, and been found to be in substantial compliance with the Criteria. A copy of the Criteria can be obtained from NAEYC.

What is a high-quality early childhood program?

A high-quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of young children. In accredited programs you will see:

  • Frequent, positive, warm interactions among teachers and children
  • Planned learning activities appropriate to children's age and development, such as block building, painting, reading stories, dress-up, and active outdoor play
  • Specially trained teachers and administrators
  • Ongoing professional development for teachers
  • Enough adults to respond to individual children
  • Many varied age-appropriate materials
  • Respect for cultural diversity
  • A healthy and safe environment for adults and children
  • Inclusive environments for children with special needs
  • Nutritious meals and/or snacks
  • Regular, two-way communication with parents who are welcome visitors at all times
  • Effective administration
  • Ongoing, systematic evaluation of the program

For more information about NAEYC accreditation, visit the Web site at, or call (800) 424-2460, ext. 601. Accreditation is valid for three years. During that period, programs must submit an Annual Report to document program improvements and major changes. (NAEYC, form #917)