The Four Steps help programs prepare for each stage of NAEYC Accreditation, and ensure that the crucial components of program quality are in place along the way.
Programs pursuing initial accreditation must complete the Four Steps. Currently accredited programs will pursue a new term of accreditation through the renewal process.
- Submit enrollment form and fee
- Access TORCH
- Use Self-Study Tools in TORCH to evaluate program quality and to inform quality improvement efforts
- Plan your program’s accreditation timeline, considering submission deadlines for reaccreditation if applicable
- Submit application and fee, selecting a Candidacy due date for Step 3
- Use Self-Assessment Tools in TORCH to document that your program meets the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards
- Gather documentation that your program meets the Candidacy Requirements
- Download Candidacy Materials eight weeks prior to self-selected Candidacy due date
- Complete Candidacy Materials
- Submit Candidacy Materials and fee on or before Candidacy due date
- “Fine tune” program improvement efforts in preparation for site visit
- Receive Candidacy decision from the NAEYC Academy
Demonstrate how your program meets the standards by allowing an NAEYC Assessor to observe your program in action and review evidence collected in Self-Assessment.
For programs accepted as Candidates for NAEYC Accreditation:
Demonstrate continued compliance with the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards.