The purpose of NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA) is to promote excellence in early childhood teacher education; to provide a valid and objective external evaluation of these programs as a service to the public, to prospective students and to the profession.
The mission of the NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Program Accreditation system is to set a standard of excellence for associate degree early childhood programs and to recognize programs that have demonstrated to a peer review board that they meet this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families, and communities.
The Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation was established by the NAEYC Governing Board to ensure the equity, integrity and accountability of the associate degree accreditation system. The Commission makes all accreditation decisions. Commission members include nationally recognized experts in the early childhood field. While Commission members are predominantly early childhood education faculty in institutions of higher education, others may be considered for service, including administrators, practitioners in the early childhood field, and members of the public.
The scope of NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation is educational programs at the associate degree level that prepare students to work in the field of early childhood. The associate degree program must be offered by an institution of higher education located in a US state, district, or territory and currently accredited by a regional institutional accrediting agency that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the US Department of Education.
NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation was developed through a public process that included piloting an approval system, studying the feasibility of an accreditation system, standards development, and the field test of the process and materials. The system opened to public application in 2006. The development was shaped and supported by a diverse group of stakeholders and funders.
NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation's Guiding Principles can be found here in the Accreditation Handbook.