Code of Ethics
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NAEYC Governing Board Code of Ethics
Trust is the foundation of effective board work. As an organization, NAEYC seeks to develop a culture of trust, which is essential for our work to have lasting value. Trustworthiness means that we do what we say we will do, that we are honest, and that we strive for accuracy in the information we share.
Trustworthiness is based on character, the positive qualities that we possess, and on competence—what we can do. To be effective, Board members must have both character and competence. With trust at the foundation of our work, we have established this code of ethics to guide our work as members of the NAEYC Governing Board.
As an NAEYC Governing Board member I will:
- Fully and enthusiastically support the NAEYC vision, mission, core values and beliefs, strategic priorities, and all other Board-approved policies.
- Actively participate in, and contribute to, an open, professional Board culture by respecting and seeking to understand diverse points of view.
Work to assure that NAEYC continues to grow as a high-performing, inclusive organization of groups and individuals and use this framework in my Board deliberations by:
- Considering the evidence that diverse points of view are embedded in the process and results of any initiative;
- Considering the impact of any decision on multiple dimensions of diversity, including, but not limited to, race/ethnicity, culture/language, class, gender, sexual orientation, differing abilities/special needs, professional role, program type, education level, age, and geography;
- Considering the impact on current and potential members, staff, and leadership;
- Promoting the work of NAEYC to the field and to the public at large, and taking ownership of the work we do together;
- Embracing and respecting ideas, insights, and concerns that evolve out of the values of diverse cultures and belief systems, and;
- Representing and serving the needs of NAEYC as an organization and the entire NAEYC community, not a particular geographic region, organization, or constituency.
In my work on the Governing Board I will:
- Be a responsible and committed steward of NAEYC’s programs and resources.
- Understand that the NAEYC Governing Board is a policy board and that the Board’s role is to establish the policies that govern the association, not to manage the organization.
Specifically, as a Governing Board member I will:
- Adhere to all Board policies, including, but not limited to, policies on confidentiality, conflict of interest and inurement prohibition, and anti-corruption.
- Respect and support all decisions of the Board.
- Work with the other Board members and members of the staff in the spirit of harmony and cooperation.
- Participate actively in Board meetings, Board activities and on committees, and follow through on my Board commitments, tasks, and responsibilities.
- Make the necessary commitment of time and diligence to fulfill my governance responsibilities.
- Encourage and participate in open, inclusive, and respectful dialogue regarding all Board issues, concerns, and discussions.
- Recognize that since the Board consists of individuals with differing perspectives, debate is necessary and encouraged.
- Be well-informed about developments and issues that may come before the Board.
- Work to learn more about my responsibilities and to improve my effectiveness.
- Keep confidential any proceedings of the Board that are not yet ready for public dissemination, except where disclosure is required by law.
- Have the courage to offer a minority opinion when necessary and be willing always to listen to, respect, and consider opinions offered by others.
- Speak directly to individuals involved about issues of concern regarding those individuals.
- Handle concerns or complaints in a professional manner—directing operational concerns to the Executive Director; and directing concerns about Board policy to the President.
- Call to the attention of the Board any issues that may have an adverse impact on NAEYC or those we serve.
- Act impartially and not seek preferential treatment from or for any organization or individual inside or outside NAEYC.
- During Board discussions, disclose any potential conflict of interest related to the issue under discussion and exclude myself from Board decisions where I am involved in a conflict of interest.
- Not use my Board position for personal advantage or the advantage of friends or relatives.
Finally, I understand that I must bring any violations of this Code of Ethics, my own or those of another Board member, to the attention of the Board President, and that in doing so I am helping to ensure the strength and integrity of NAEYC and safeguarding the field of early childhood education.