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Higher Education Quality Assurance Systems

NAEYC values the role of higher education in advancing the early childhood education profession. Through its higher education accreditation system, NAEYC provides a mechanism for early childhood associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs to demonstrate their commitment to high-quality professional preparation.

NAEYC also previously partnered with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to grant NAEYC National Recognition to baccalaureate and graduate degree programs that demonstrated their candidate assessments aligned with the NAEYC 2010 Initial and Advanced Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation. As of February 1, 2020, NAEYC has discontinued SPA Program Review with National Recognition as part of the CAEP accreditation process.   Programs can find information about what this means for their recognition status and expectations for their early childhood program's documentation for their EPP's site visit here. A list of nationally recognized programs can be found on the CAEP website.

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

Learn more about the higher education accreditation system—and how to join the group of peer reviewers that help make the system possible—below.

Early Childhood Higher Education Accreditation

NAEYC accredits early childhood associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs in the U.S. & its territories. 

Higher Education Accreditation Standards

The NAEYC 2010 Initial Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation serve as the basis for NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation decisions. These standards are currently being revised, and are anticipated to be released in mid-late 2021.

Higher Education Accreditation Peer Reviewers

The NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation system relies on the service and expertise of volunteer faculty peer reviewers.