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NAEYC Accreditation

The Favorite Choice for Your Child

Are you choosing a child care program for your son or daughter? Are you frightened or sad about the thought of someone else taking care of your child? Many families struggle with the decision to enroll their children into child care, and once the decision is made, choosing the right program is just as hard.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) can help parents feel good about the child care, preschool, and kindergarten programs they choose. More than 20 years ago, NAEYC created an accreditation system to improve the quality of education and care provided in programs for young children. NAEYC Accreditation has become the mark of quality, helping parents find the best possible early childhood experience.

“I think one of the greatest advances to child care was the creation of the NAEYC Accreditation system, which has helped so much to raise the quality of programs.” – T Berry Brazelton, M.D., The Brazelton Institute, Children’s Hospital Boston,Harvard Medical School



The Mark of Quality Education for Your Child

When you see the NAEYC Accreditation torch, you know that your child will be safe, healthy, and learning each day. You know what makes a good child care program – infants are laid down on their backs to nap, toddlers are taken outside for well-supervised play, and preschoolers are learning about shapes and solving puzzles. NAEYC Accreditation means you’re getting this and more!

StandardNAEYC has created 10 standards that measure the quality of early childhood programs. The standards were created by a blue-ribbon panel of early childhood experts and are based on the latest early childhood research.

NAEYC-accredited programs meet the highest standards including:

  • Promote positive relationships for all children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth.
  • Implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social.
  • Use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate effective teaching approaches.
  • Provide ongoing assessments of a child’s learning and development and communicate the child’s progress to the family.
  • Promote the nutrition and health of children and protect children and staff from injury and illness.
  • Employ a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development, and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with each child’s family.
  • Establish relationships with and use the resources of the community to support the achievement of program goals.
  • Provide a safe and healthy physical environment.
  • Implement strong personnel, fiscal, and program management policies so that all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences.


Favorite Accreditation Questions

What differentiates NAEYC Accreditation from other accreditation systems? 

NAEYC Accreditation is recognized across the country as the mark of quality education for young children. NAEYC Accreditation is the strongest system available to early childhood education programs, providing them with the tools and assistance they need to continuously improve their programs and meet NAEYC’s stringent program standards.

Are NAEYC-accredited programs more academic? 

NAEYC-accredited programs must implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social. NAEYC-accredited programs are the right choice for kids because they provide a proper balance of academics, health, safety, and fun.

How does NAEYC ensure that accredited programs maintain their quality? 

NAEYC-accredited programs are committed to providing high-quality care for young children. Throughout the five-year term of accreditation programs must submit annual reports and are subject to random, unannounced visits by highly-trained assessors to ensure they continue to meet our standards.

Why aren’t there more NAEYC-accredited programs in my community? 

NAEYC Accreditation is rigorous and requires programs to be committed to high-quality care for young children. Even with the strong growth of the system, NAEYC-accredited programs can be rare in some communities. Parents should demand NAEYC Accreditation for the programs in their communities. And, business leaders and policymakers should support more early childhood programs that are working to improve.

To learn more about NAEYC accredidation, click here or watch this informative video!