The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) was founded in 1926. NAEYC affiliates work to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education as well as build public support for high quality early childhood programs. As a parent, I have found the association to be an invaluable resource for information and assistance in finding quality child care.
The three main goals of the association are:
- Facilitating improvements in the professional practice and working conditions in the field of early childhood education by creating professional development opportunities/resources and by setting and promoting standards of professional practice;
- Improving public understanding and support and funding of high quality programs in centers, homes, and schools serving young children and their families through public policy initiatives and public awareness and engagement activities; and
- Building and maintaining a strong, diverse, and inclusive organization that enables NAEYC to achieve Goals 1 and 2.
In support of these three goals NAEYC provides information to parents, child care providers and teachers in the form of brochures, pamphlets and books. Most notably, they provide a voluntary accreditation program to child care centers, pre-schools, kindergartens, and after-school programs through the National Academy of Early Childhood Education. In order to be accredited a facility must have been in operation for at least 12 months and meet set criteria in the following categories:
If a facility meets or exceeds all of the required standards, they are granted accreditation for a three-year period but must provide annual reports to the academy to show that they are maintaining high standards. Accreditation is highly desireable because it shows that the facility has made a commitment to quality care, high standards and the continuous improvement of their program.
Visit www.naeyc.org for more information or for assistance in finding an accredited facility.