Provisional Accreditation Option
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Introducing Provisional Accreditation
While programs have continued caring for children and families over the past year, we know that the realities of the global pandemic have made your accreditation journey much more difficult. Because we understand that your desire to maintain your accreditation or become accredited for the first time is strong, we have created a new pathway to help you meet this goal during this time of uncertainty.
What is provisional accreditation?
Provisional Accreditation is a new way that programs can engage in the accreditation process during this time if an onsite observation visit is not possible. It is an opportunity for you to share your program’s portfolios with NAEYC assessors digitally for review. If your portfolios meet the assessment items for a passing score, you will obtain a provisional accreditation, which will be in effect until a NAEYC assessor can conduct an onsite observation visit.
Why provisional accreditation?
We know that many programs can't have visitors right now, and some are not serving children on site at all. We want to honor the quality improvement work that you are doing and give you a way to keep your accreditation current. For those of you that can have visitors, NAEYC assessors are willing and able to come for a live visit! Provisional accreditation is intended for those who cannot have outside visitors at this time.
NAEYC staff will begin contacting programs in February that are currently due, or overdue, for a site visit. Staff will walk you through your options and help you make a decision on which option you wish to choose. Programs that are moving through the accreditation process and are waiting on an accreditation site visit will receive 3 options to choose from. Once an option is selected and confirmed by NAEYC, the program will move forward with one of the following options:
Accreditation Visit Options
Option 1 - Standard Accreditation Visit
Standard accreditation site visit - Programs will receive a current six month window and be assigned to a reliable NAEYC assessor to begin the scheduling process. The assessor will work with the program to ensure everyone is following the COVID-19 Site Visit Protocol. Programs must be serving children and able to receive visitors if this option is chosen. Check out our accreditation tips and tools to prepare for a standard accreditation visit
Option 2 - Provisional Accreditation
Provisional accreditation - Programs will have to complete a two step process to achieve a full accreditation status.
- In the first step, programs must submit digital versions of a Program Portfolio and one Classroom Portfolio per age category served. Portfolios are evaluated remotely by a reliable NAEYC assessor. Provisional Accreditation is granted based upon successful evaluation of portfolios. The program will receive specific instructions from NAEYC on how to upload their portfolio information to a file sharing site managed by NAEYC. Information shared will be scored and one of the decisions below will be given:
- Provisional Accreditation Approved - If the program achieves provisional accreditation, the program will be required to host a provisional accreditation site visit as soon as possible to achieve full NAEYC Accreditation.
- Accreditation Deferred - Programs will be returned to Enrolled status and will need to complete the Application checklist to move forward in the accreditation process. Programs will have the option to appeal the decision as outlined in the Appeal Policy.
2. For the second step of the provisional process, a site visit will be required. Site visits will consist of program and classroom observations only; portfolios will not be reviewed again. Staff qualifications as reported in the portal will be assessed at this time, and licensing status (a required criterion for accreditation) will be reconfirmed.
Both steps of the provisional process must be approved to receive full NAEYC Accreditation. At this time, provisional site visits are expected to begin in 2022.
Option 3 - Withdrawal
Withdrawal - If a program cannot engage in an accreditation evaluation through timely participation in Option 1 (live site visit) or Option 2 (digital portfolio evaluation for provisional accreditation) the program is choosing to no longer pursue NAEYC accreditation . If this option is chosen, the program will be withdrawn and will have 12 months to move forward with Stage 2: Application. Currently-accredited programs that have successfully submitted their 4th Annual Report, will remain NAEYC Accredited until the expiration date.
Note: All currently accredited programs are required to submit a 5th Annual Accreditation Fee
To learn more about how to digitize your portfolio, review these resources on Provisional Accreditation. Programs can choose to use the free resources provided at their own discretion.
Listen & Learn Resources
- How to use the Portfolio Templates - This webinar is designed for programs who have chosen to use NAEYC’s provided template for portfolios.
- Version 1: How to Use ShareFile Tutorial - In this tutorial, learners will have the opportunity to see ShareFile in action! Watch as a NAEYC staff member guides you through the process of uploading your portfolio to ShareFile.
- Version 2: How to Use ShareFile Webinar - In this webinar, you will hear how to use ShareFile to upload your portfolios. For a guided experience, check out How to Use ShareFile Tutorial (Version 1).
NAEYC has developed program portfolio and classroom (by age category) portfolio templates to assit programs that choose to use our free resources.