1. What is NAEYC Accreditation?
Since 1985, NAEYC has offered a national, voluntary accreditation system to set professional standards for early childhood education programs, and to help families identify high-quality programs. Today, NAEYC Accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. Over 7,000 child care programs, preschools, early learning centers, and other center or school-based early childhood education programs are currently NAEYC accredited.
2. What are the benefits to becoming accredited?
- Improved standards for the overall program
- Improved outcomes such as school readiness and school success
- Improved language development
- Enhanced social and emotional development
- Better scores on assessments of cognitive functioning
- Attracts more families to enroll their children at a program
- Helps to build a stronger team of teachers, administrators, and families working together to improve quality for children
- Lower turnover among staff members and greater job satisfaction while working in accredited programs
- Higher rate of reimbursement for children receiving child care assistance
- An accelerated pathway to a four-star rating in Parent Aware is available statewide for accredited programs
3. What do I need in order to become accredited?
- Be center- or school-based
- Serve children from birth through kindergarten (infants, toddler/twos, preschoolers, and/or kindergartners) with a minimum enrollment of 10 children
- Be in operation for at least one year prior to submitting for candidacy
- The ability to remain in good standing with licensing or regulatory body
- Believe that my program can meet each of the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and that we can document satisfactory performance on at least 80 percent of the NAEYC Accreditation Criteria for each standard
- Demonstrate necessary early childhood, management and leadership expertise among members of my teaching and leadership staff by meeting the Candidacy Requirements for Educational Qualifications of Program Administrators and Teaching Staff
4. How do I get started?
- Visit www.naeyc.org/academy to explore information and resources
- Download the following documents for use in getting staff on board, to evaluate your program's current strengths and areas of opportunity, and to determine if you feel ready to begin the process:
- Contact MnAEYC-MnSACA's accreditation hotline with questions or for more information at 651-789-3586 or toll free at 800-711-5690. Or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Accreditation Support Services tab to see how we can help your program on its journey to accreditation!