Accreditation of Higher Education Programs

Accreditation of Higher Education Programs

The NAEYC Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs awards accreditation to early childhood degree programs that demonstrate evidence of excellence by meeting the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards. The NAEYC accreditation process provides a framework for self-study, external evaluation, and improvement in the quality of teacher preparation programs.  The system is committed to continuous improvement and is guided by the Code of Good Practice set forth by the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA), of which NAEYC is a member. There are currently 185 institutions in 38 states with NAEYC-accredited programs.

 The NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation system is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for a seven-year term beginning May 2021. 

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Scope of the Accreditation System:

The scope of NAEYC’s higher education accreditation includes programs at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels that prepare candidates to work in the early childhood profession. The degree program must be offered at an institution of higher education that is located in a U.S. state, district, or territory and that is currently accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency that is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and/or the U.S. Department of Education.

Explore accreditation

An overview of the accreditation process

Learn more about the NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation process and the benefits of pursuing accreditation.

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Pursuing or maintaining accreditation?

Discover the accreditation system standards, download tools, find out about upcoming professional development opportunities, and more.

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Find an accredited program

NAEYC accredits associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs in regionally-accredited institutions throughout the U.S. and its territories.

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Become a Peer Reviewer

NAEYC’s accreditation of early childhood higher education programs depends upon the commitment and professionalism of our volunteer peer reviewers. 

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Access Accreditation Data for Research Purposes

Some accreditation data on program characteristics and quality is now available for researchers to advance the field’s knowledge about quality ECE professional preparation.

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News & Updates

Spring 2021 Higher Education Accreditation Updates

Degree programs at six institutions earned accreditation and programs at eleven institutions earned renewed accreditation at the most recent meeting of the Commission. See our most recent press release for more information on these programs.

NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation System Earns CHEA Recognition

The NAEYC Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is pleased to announce that it has been granted recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Learn more about this important achievement in this press release.