National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Academy of Early Childhood Programs
1509 16th Street NW
Washington DC 20036-1426
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a national non-profit professional association with over 90,000 members. Through the Academy of Early Childhood Programs, NAEYC offers a voluntary, national accreditation system. Accreditation criteria assess program quality in the following 10 areas: interaction among teacher and children; curriculum; interactions among teachers and families; administration: staff qualifications and professional development; staffing patterns (includes ratios, group size); physical environment; health and safety; nutrition and food service; and program evaluation.
NAEYC’s accreditation process has three steps. The first is a comprehensive self-study process that involves program administrators, staff and parents in a self-study process that prepares them for accreditation. The result is a Program Description that is sent to the Academy. The second step is verification of the Program Description by a trained validator who observes the program. The final step is a comprehensive review of both the Program Description and the validator’s on-site report by a three-person Commission. Accreditation must be renewed every three years. Substantial changes in staffing, program design or facilities must be reported and may require a validator visit to determine whether a new Program Description should be submitted to the Academy.
National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
1016 Rosser St.
Conyers, GA 30012
Accreditation under the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission, Inc. begins with the preparation of a comprehensive self-assessment that includes a self-study instrument and parent and staff questionnaires. The assessment process involves management, teachers, staff, parents and children. Quality indicators that are the basis for accreditation are organized into the following categories: administration and general operations; professional development and work environment; indoor environment; outdoor environment; developmental programs; parent and community involvement; formal school linkages; and health and safety. The second phase of accreditation is the verification visit, conducted by an objective, qualified and trained individual. The final phase is the review of all materials (self-study, surveys and verification report) by Councils of peers professionals and educators. Accreditation must be renewed every three years.
National Association for Family Child Care
The Accreditation Program
P.O. Box 10373
Des Moines, IA 50306
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is a professional organization representing family and group family child care home providers. NAFCC has offered accreditation since 1987, modeled on the NAEYC accreditation system. A new accreditation system, with self study and survey tools developed specifically for the diverse population of family and group family child care homes, has been developed through a multi-year collaboration with the Family Child Care Project at Wheelock College.
The basic accreditation process includes a self study; parent surveys; quality improvement based on the study of the quality indicators; a validation visit; Accreditation Commission review; and renewal. The new set of Quality Standards was developed by NAFCC, Wheelock College’s Family Child Care project, a large advisory board, and hundreds of family and group family child care providers, parents, educators and early childhood experts. The Quality Standards have four parts, addressing: 1) relationships (provider-child, provider-family members, provider – provider); 2) environment (home, equipment and materials); 3) activities (child directed, provider initiated); 4) developmental learning goals (social and self, physical, cognition and language, creative); 5) safety and health; and 6) professional and business practices (ethics and legality, professional activities, assistants and substitutes).
National Clearinghouse for the Military Child Development Program
Department of Defense
Office of Family Policy
4015 Wilson Blvd., Suite 917
Arlington VA 22203-5190
By Executive Order, the Department of Defense and each of its major branches, must have a plan for providing technical assistance to community child care programs. The Clearinghouse Web site lists the types of materials that are available and a list of all local military sites that offer training and technical assistance.
All divisions of the military are encouraging their child care centers to be accredited. Further, all centers must meet accreditation standards by the year 2000. Usually NAEYC, but can be other accreditation systems. There is a new accreditation system developed for family and group home child care, which is discussed below.
U.S. Army Division of Community and Family Support
Child and Youth Services
4700 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22302-4418
The Family Child Care Accreditation System developed by Child and Youth Services in conjunction with the Department of the Navy is now in effect for family child care providers serving Army and Navy personnel. There is a current effort to bring together the new National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation Criteria (to be released in 1999) with the Army’s Family Child Care Accreditation Standards.
The Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services. (COA) is an international organization that accredits a wide variety of service agencies. COA has accredited 1,000 behavioral health care programs and 3,000 social service programs in the United State and Canada. Child care centers and family child care homes are included as social service agencies. The accreditation process includes:
- self-study and completion of the Self-Study Manual
- on-site evaluation by an accreditation team
- the accreditation report on the organization’s compliance with standards
- objective evaluation of the report by the Accreditation Commission
- monitoring to ensure continuing compliance.