Accreditation Tips and Tools
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Due to the pandemic, NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs released a new option for programs to become accredited or maintain their accreditation if a standard accreditation site visit is not possible. Learn more about Provisional Accreditation.
Assessment Version 2022 is coming soon!
NAEYC’s current site visit assessment, Version 2019, will be phased out in 2022 as Version 2022 is implemented. Version 2022 includes item, guidance and terminology changes to 12% of current items. Many changes are minor and do not apply to most programs.
Programs currently awaiting a site visit and programs participating in Provisional Accreditation will be assessed in Version 2019, even for site visits taking place in 2022. Non-provisional programs whose visit window opens on or after January 1, 2022 will be assessed in Version 2022.
Details of these changes will be made public after July 1, 2021, with resources available at that time to help programs understand and implement changes in portfolio evidence and observable practices.
2019 NAEYC Accreditation Assessment Items
- View the 2019 site visit assessment changes
- View the 2019 site visit assessment item changes by sources of evidence
COVID-19 Protocol & Guidance Updates
NAEYC’s Version 2019 site visit protocol has been adjusted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NAEYC restarted accreditation site visits on September 1, 2020 where state and local regulations permitted visitors in programs. NAEYC recognizes that while site visits are possible in many places, programs continue to operate under additional public health mandates while the COVID pandemic continues.
These public health changes led to adaptations in how NAEYC conducts program accreditation site visits. NAEYC’s COVID-adjusted site visit protocol (Version 2019) incorporates adaptations into the existing site visit protocol. Version 2019 also includes guidance changes related to the assessment of some items.
Accreditation Tools (Version 2019)
Conduct a Self Study
Whether you are new to accreditation or need a refresher, self-study is a great way to ensure that your staff and other stakeholders have a shared understanding of best practices and are able to reflect on your strengths and areas needing additional attention.
Use the resource below to plan your self-study journey.
Begin to examine your environment and observable practices with the same tools accreditation assessors use to conduct site visits. These observation tools will help you find strengths (all programs have strengths!) and areas needing additional attention (all programs have these too!).
Use the resources below to observe and assess your program and classrooms. You may want to invite your teaching team and colleagues in your community to help observe and self-assess. The more the better!
Portfolio Tools & Templates
Begin to document evidence to showcase in your classroom and program portfolios. Collecting and documenting evidence for classroom and program portfolios will help you find strengths (all programs have them!) and areas needing additional attention (all programs have these too!).
Use the resources below to self-assess the evidence you’ve documented in your program and classrooms portfolios. You may want to invite your teaching team and colleagues in your community help document and self-assess evidence. The more the better!
Document and self-assess with classroom and program portfolio tools
The labels below are offered as an optional resource for organizing evidence in your classroom and program portfolios. There is one label for each assessment item. These labels were designed to be used with Avery 5160 (1” x 2 5/8”) labels or a similar product. The use of these labels is not required.
- All Ages Classroom Portfolio Labels
- Infant Class Portfolio Labels
- Toddler Class Portfolio
- Preschool Class Portfolio Labels
- Kindergarten Class Portfolio Labels
- School-Age Class Portfolio Labels
- Program Portfolio Labels
Portfolio Templates - Build a Digital Portfolio!
NAEYC has developed program portfolio and classroom (by age category) portfolio templates to assist programs that choose to use our free resources.
Site Visit Protocols & Procedures
Accreditation is not about perfection. It is about continuously celebrating your program’s strength and addressing areas needing additional attention. It is also about demonstrating that your program meets the standards that guide your profession.
You and your team have worked hard to document this commitment to quality. You’ve reflected and made enhancements. Now is time for our trained and reliable assessors to review this evidence and provide external feedback.
Use the resources below to help prepare for your site visit. These resources share data and tips with lessons learned from NAEYC assessors, accreditation coaches, and program directors.