Established Educational Qualifications
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You are viewing our established accreditation process, which will be phased out on May 31, 2018. The new streamlined model is available now! During this transition period, programs may opt out of the streamlined model and continue to be assessed using the established process, if preferred. Beginning on May 31, 2018, the streamlined accreditation model will be required for all programs.
Throughout the NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs process, your program’s staff qualifications will be assessed according to the following measures:
Candidacy Requirements Related to Staff Qualifications:
Candidacy requirements are assessed at a lower threshold than criteria 6.A.05 and 6.A.06 during the candidacy and renewal processes. Programs are required to meet all candidacy requirements related to staff qualifications in order to be eligible for a site visit. See the options guide for educational qualifications to determine your staff's eligibility.
Meeting candidacy requirements related to staff qualifications:
• Administrators must meet option A, B, or C
• At least 75 percent of teachers must meet options C—K as outlined in the options guide for educational qualifications
• At least 50 percent of assistant teachers must meet options A—K as outlined in the options guide for educational qualifications
Teaching Staff Qualifications
Criteria 6.A.05 and 6.A.06 are not required but will always be assessed, and they contribute to the overall accreditation decision. Refer to the timeline for meeting teacher qualifications
Criterion 6.A.05 for Teachers
- All teachers have a minimum of an associate’s degree or equivalent.
- At least 75 percent of teachers have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or equivalent in early childhood education, child development, elementary education, or early childhood special education, and this training encompasses the development and learning of children birth through kindergarten; family and community relationships; observing, documenting, and assessing young children; teaching and learning; and professional practices and development. Refer to the timeline for meeting teacher qualifications.
Criterion 6.A.06 for Assistant Teachers/Teacher Aides
- Assistant teachers/teacher aides have a high school diploma or GED.
- 50 percent of assistant teachers/teacher aides have at least a Child Development Associate credential (CDA) or equivalent.
- 100 percent of assistant teachers/teacher aides who do not have at least a CDA are enrolled in a program leading to a CDA or equivalent, are actively participating in the program, and are demonstrating progress toward the CDA or equivalent.
Program Administrator Qualifications
Program administrator qualifications (10.A.02) is a required criterion and must be met as part of the candidacy requirements. At least one person must meet the qualifications outlined in this criterion, and this person must be the designated program administrator.
There are three different ways that a program administrator can meet 10.A.02.
A. Have at least a baccalaureate degree with 24 credits in early childhood education, child development, elementary education or early childhood special education AND nine credits in administration, leadership, or management.
B. Have a plan in place to meet the qualifications outlined in Option A within five years.
C. Meet the alternative pathway—must document a total of 100 points across all three categories: education, administrator experience and relevant training or credentials.
Evidence of meeting this standard is provided through the submission of documentation in candidacy and renewal, as well as portfolio review, during the site visit.
Need help with accreditation?
Speak directly with NAEYC Early Learning Program staff about the NAEYC Accreditation process, educational qualifications, classes, and much more by contacting us at 1-800-424-2460, option 3.