Every parent wants to make sure their child is enrolled in a distinguished daycare, preschool, or kindergarten, but it can be difficult to verify the quality of the program you’re selecting. Fortunately, parents can look to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to find first-rate educational childcare programs in their local area. For more than 20 years, the NAEYC has assessed schools based on a set of standards to determine the quality of the education and care for young students.
Read more about the organization’s standards and the benefits of enrolling in an accredited program below.
What is the National Association for the Education of Young Children?
The NAEYC is an organization that strives to improve the quality of early childhood education (birth through age 8) by helping teachers and staff learn best practices on training and early education based on data-driven research. The association also supports educators through professional development opportunities so they can proceed to offer the best care for young students.
Programs that gain NAEYC accreditation have met a strict series of standards, so families can rest assured their children are receiving an excellent education in a positive atmosphere when they enroll in an accredited daycare program.
What are the NAEYC’s Standards for Early Childhood Education?
The NAEYC uses 10 standards to evaluate the quality of education and care for early education centers. Overall, accredited programs exhibit that they offer a safe, nurturing environment for children; their teachers are qualified, highly-trained, and have access to educational materials and resources; and that their curriculum is age-appropriate, diverse, and engaging.
NAEYC-Accredited programs must meet the following requirements:
- 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 and effective teaching approaches.
- Provide ongoing assessments of each 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 illness and injury.
- Employ and support 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 interests and needs.
- Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with each child’s family.
- Establish relationships with and use the resources of the community to support 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.
To gain accreditation is an extensive process that requires administrators, teachers, and families to participate in the evaluation. Accreditation also requires random, unexpected visits by NAEYC assessors to confirm programs continue to meet these standards.
What are the Benefits of Enrolling in a NAEYC Accredited Program?
Research shows high-quality early education programs set children up for greater academic and career success. One long-term Harvard study found children who attended better schools were less likely to be held back or placed in special education classes, and they were more likely to graduate from high school than those who did not receive such an education. By enrolling young children in an accredited program that has a set of nationally recognized standards, families can open more doors for their children in the long run.
5 Benefits of an NAEYC Accredited Program
- The program is recognized for excellent training, education, and safety standards
- Educators are able to use the organization’s tools and resource materials to continually improve their programs
- The program is evaluated on a continuous basis to ensure current best practices are utilized
- Administrators, teachers, and the community work together to progress the quality of the program
- Children feel secure, confident, and nurtured based on positive relationships with their teachers, peers, and greater community. In turn, they feel more valued and tend to perform better academically and socially
The Best NAEYC-Accredited Program Near Philadelphia
If you’re searching for an exceptional NAEYC-Accredited daycare near Philadelphia, turn to Ducklings Early Learning Center. Children can look forward to fun, themed enrichment activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. Our well-trained teachers encourage children to explore the world around them with a focus on mind, body, heart, and family. Families can feel confident that students are engaged in an age-appropriate daycare curriculum in a safe, compassionate environment.
For more information on specific childcare center locations, visit our Locations page or get in touch with our office.