An Overview of the NAEYC Recognition Process
NAEYC works with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to review and recognize early childhood baccalaureate and graduate degree programs at institutions of higher education.The NAEYC Recognition process hinges on a deep understanding and application of the NAEYC Standards for Professional Preparation programs. Successful programs will provide evidence of strong student performance on each of the standards: applied knowledge of child development and learning, work with families and communities, use of assessment and documentation, the practice of teaching and learning, content area knowledge, and becoming an early childhood professional. Successful program improvement and National Recognition of the program depends on the alignment of program assessments with NAEYC standards.
Programs seeking NAEYC Recognition submit a set of assessments that are aligned with the NAEYC Standards. Each assessment will include student instructions, rubrics, and performance data. CAEP requires 6-8 assessments.
Types of Programs
All baccalaureate and graduate degree programs submitted for NAEYC Recognition are designated as one of these three types.
Initial-licensure Programs. These programs create a foundation in the standards, values, theory, and research of early childhood programs for their students. They include baccalaureate and masters degree programs that lead to an initial license to teach in early childhood programs and classrooms.
Advanced Programs. These programs accept students who already have a license to teach in early childhood and extend and enhance these students’ knowledge and application in early childhood. These programs may have a specialized focus, such as advocacy, administration, or mentoring. They include masters and doctoral programs.
- Blended Programs. These programs address both early childhood (NAEYC) standards and special education (Council for Exceptional Children) standards. They prepare teachers and other professionals to develop and work within inclusive settings that serve children with and without disabilities.
► Not sure if your program is initial or advanced? Use this chart to find out - Comparison of Initial and Advanced Professional Preparation Programs. To learn more about the difference between blended and non-blended programs, use this chart - How are Blended Program Reports Different from Other Program Reports? It is important to ensure that you are using the correct standards and report template for your program type.
Resources for Programs Seeking NAEYC Recognition
Contact NAEYC Staff
If your program is interested in or actively pursuing/maintaining NAEYC Recognition, we encourage you to utilize NAEYC staff as a support resource at any time prior to or after submitting your program report. For any questions about the recognition process, please contact us
Download Planning Tools
These action plans are designed to be working charts to assist programs in determining where they are in the report and review process.
Use this matrix, which includes key elements of each of the 2010 standards, to determine whether your selected assessments have the capacity to fully address the standards.
Attend a Workshop
NAEYC offers full-day workshops for faculty compiling program reports in conjunction with our Annual Conferences and our Professional Development Institutes. These interactive workshops are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the report requirements, to hear from experienced reviewers, to see examples and get ideas about assessment systems and program improvement, and to network with colleagues also going through accreditation.
► The next workshop will be held on November 17, 2015 in Orlando, FL prior to the 2015 NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo. Learn more.
Interested in bringing this full-day workshop to your state? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on logistics and fees.
Become a Program Reviewer
Becoming a trained peer reviewer provides valuable perspective that can assist faculty who are working on their own program's recognition efforts. NAEYC’s recognition system depends upon the commitment and professionalism of peer reviewers. For initial and advanced programs, reviewers agree to participate in at least one annual cycle (spring or fall) each year. A team of 2-3 reviewers reads each program report and completes a draft Recognition Report.
NAEYC accepts reviewer applications year round. Qualified applicants are invited to participate in an online reviewer training. Peer reviewers must have:
A graduate degree in early childhood/child development/child-family studies or related discipline
An understanding of student assessment in higher education programs
Familiarity with the NAEYC Standards for Professional Preparation
Experience as full- or part-time early childhood/child development faculty in an institution of higher education
► If you are interested in becoming an NAEYC Peer Reviewer, please click here to download an application.