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 NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation 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. The accreditation system is also in the process of pursuing recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

There are currently 197 institutions in 40 states with NAEYC-accredited programs.

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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News & Updates

Draft Revised Higher Ed Accreditation Standards

The NAEYC Commission on the Accreditation of Higher Education Accreditation Programs and its appointed Standards Workgroup are pleased to release this draft of the revised accreditation standards for review, and are eager to receive public comment. Feedback on the draft standards can be offered by March 5 through this survey, you can sign up to attend an “office hours” session to provide feedback on the standards, and/or register for a February 3 webinar. You can also view a summary of results from the 360º survey the Commission conducted in 2020 to gather insights on programs’ experiences in the accreditation system and perspectives on the current accreditation standards.  Please email questions to

Summer 2020 Higher Education Accreditation Updates

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