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NAEYC Accreditation: The Right Fit for States
Leverage the national reputation of NAEYC Accreditation's brand in your community.
NAEYC understands that states’ political climates and priorities are constantly shifting. NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs is an experienced and trusted ally in sustaining quality improvement systems at the state and local levels. Working together, NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs and states can make a difference in the lives of young children.
Across the country, at least 30 states and the District of Columbia reference NAEYC in their quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) requirements.
Why do states partner with NAEYC?
1. The NAEYC Accreditation process is available and fully operational—there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
QRIS is multidimensional. States can leverage NAEYC Accreditation as a ready-to-go quality assessment and improvement system that aligns with QRIS standards, allowing states to focus attention and resources on other QRIS components.
2. NAEYC Accreditation represents a shared national framework for quality in early childhood programs.
NAEYC Accreditation has been a nationally recognized indicator of high-quality early learning programs for over 30 years. Using this national framework enables states, funders, researchers, corporate-sponsored programs, and policy makers to compare and analyze high-quality early learning programs among states even as definitions of quality vary across state lines, allowing states to preserve resources and to share best practices for improving program quality. A national accreditation system supports consistency in expectations for programs in every state.
3. Accreditation delivers quality with a more affordable price tag.
Building a system to assess and improve quality is expensive. States' financial costs for infrastructure are far greater than the $650 annual accreditation fees that average-size programs pay. As a result of these savings, many states provide accreditation support grants and incentives—a more cost-effective way to help programs demonstrate that they meet high standards.
4. NAEYC Accreditation is comprehensive.
Learning environment, teaching practices, teacher–child relationships, staff qualifications, health and safety, program administration, curriculum, child assessment, family engagement—all are critically important components of quality, and each component supports the others. We know that high-quality teacher–child interactions develop only when other quality preconditions exist. NAEYC Accreditation is a comprehensive assessment system that focuses on every one of these interrelated indicators.
5. NAEYC Accreditation develops and sustains a culture of quality.
Political climates can change overnight, and those changes can directly affect QRIS and public pre-K systems. Linking early learning program quality to NAEYC Accreditation promotes a statewide culture of quality that can weather political and policy changes.
6. Reliability and credibility matter.
NAEYC Accreditation boasts a 95% reliability rate among its corps of program quality assessors. NAEYC assessors are highly experienced early childhood professionals who have worked in every state and logged thousands of classroom observations over the past 30 years. To maintain this level of reliability, assessors receive technical assistance from NAEYC at least three times a month. States with QRIS and pre-K systems that align with NAEYC program standards have a history of building success on this reliable foundation.
7. NAEYC Accreditation is more than an assessment tool; it changes the culture of the entire early learning program.
NAEYC Accreditation is founded on a comprehensive body of research-based best practices. It provides a series of integrated tools for both program self-assessment and reliable rater assessment. Most important, it is a structured, multistep system designed to engage all members of program staff and families in a reflective and transformative self-study process. Intentional practice and continuous quality improvement are the hallmarks of NAEYC Accreditation.