First 5 Santa Barbara County
In an effort to align two separate early childhood program quality improvement systems with the same goals, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and First 5 Santa Barbara County are collaborating to create a unique streamlined quality improvement process for early childhood programs participating in both systems.
NAEYC staff will develop a “crosswalk” of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria with First 5 Santa Barbara County’s Quality Initiative (which includes a quality rating component) to identify areas where these respective systems of quality standards intersect. As part of this collaboration, NAEYC staff will pilot an assessment protocol in which participating programs will receive coordinated visits to evaluate both NAEYC Accreditation and Santa Barbara County quality criteria. The goal is to create one quality system, with accreditation as the framework.
As a result of this collaboration, program administrators in Santa Barbara County can expect to participate in both systems while reporting information such as program policies only once. The intent is that this pilot process will lead to a single visit that will fulfill the requirements of both NAEYC Accreditation and Santa Barbara County’s Quality Initiative, including the use of NAEYC group observations to meet the observational rating requirements for both systems. By reducing the amount of time-consuming documentation and reporting, this collaboration will allow program administrators and teaching staff in Santa Barbara County to concentrate even more on providing high-quality experiences for children and families in their communities.
Since 2011, NAEYC and the Connecticut Charts-A-Course Accreditation Facilitation Project (CCAC/AFP) have worked to support Connecticut programs seeking NAEYC Accreditation. Programs in Connecticut may use verified data from the CCAC Early Childhood Professional Registry to create reports of staff education qualifications for submission to the NAEYC Academy, thereby streamlining the accreditation process.
In 2011, NAEYC developed a comparison and analysis of the IdahoSTARS QRIS Standards for Child Care Centers and NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. NAEYC identified intersections between the two systems’ respective standards and demonstrated the extent to which the two systems are aligned. This project ultimately produced recommendations as to how programs could meet IdahoSTARS and then build toward NAEYC Accreditation, as well as to how NAEYC-Accredited programs could complete IdahoSTARS.
In 2013, the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development recognized NAEYC Accreditation’s alignment with the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Rating and Improvement System. NAEYC-Accredited early childhood programs in Illinois can demonstrate that they meet a number of ExceleRate Illinois standards via their accredited status.
NAEYC and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care are currently piloting an assessment protocol that aligns NAEYC Accreditation of Programs for Young Children with Massachusetts’ Quality Rating and Improvement System (MA-QRIS). Programs in Massachusetts will have the opportunity to pursue both MA-QRIS and NAEYC Accreditation in a coordinated manner, thereby engaging in a streamlined process that reduces redundancy and allows programs to focus on providing quality experiences to children and families. The pilot will align the visit process for both accreditation systems and develop reporting methods that combine assessment results for MA-QRIS and NAEYC Accreditation.
In 2012, NAEYC developed a comparison and analysis of the Great Start to Quality Program Standards with NAEYC Early Childhood Accreditation Criteria. This project included an analysis of the Michigan QRIS framework and documents, as well as a side-by-side comparison of the respective systems.
Beginning February 17, 2014, NAEYC-Accredited early childhood programs in Minnesota will qualify for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program 15% rate differential.
NAEYC Accreditation is an approved accrediting body for Ohio's Step to Quality QRIS.
Reaching for the Stars, Oklahoma’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, intersects with NAEYC Accreditation. NAEYC-Accredited early childhood programs qualify as Two-Star programs, while Three-Star programs must be nationally accredited, with NAEYC Accreditation as an approved accrediting body.
In 2013, NAEYC worked with the Rhode Island Department of Education to produce a comparison and analysis of NAEYC Early Childhood Program Accreditation Criteria and BrightStars, Rhode Island’s Comprehensive Early Childhood Education Program Standards.