Why Child Care Accreditation Matters
Here’s a little poem about accreditation:
Yes, we love to mix fun with learning at Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care. But, in all seriousness, accreditation is an important consideration for parents when you’re searching for a place to educate and care for your child.
Child care accreditation is a measure of quality assurance. It’s validation by a third party that a child care provider’s practices and facilities meet established standards.
“Accreditation indicates to families that a child care center provides high-quality childhood education in a safe environment,” said Richard Peterson, Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education. “It gives them peace of mind in knowing their children are receiving early care and education that helps prepare them for future success in school and in life.”
Kiddie Academy encourages and supports each independently owned and operated franchise location to secure accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the gold standard for excellence in the field of early childhood education. We also recommend that Academies seek the highest level of achievement at the state level. States develop their own certification programs based on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). This is a framework offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for states to establish their own rating systems.
State-supported QRIS measures many of the same things as NAEYC accreditation, although their processes vary from state to state,” said Kiddie Academy’s Director of Education Quality, Sheena Robertson. Among the things they look at are curriculum, teaching qualifications and preparations, relationships with parents and the facility’s physical environment. NAEYC’s website offers a more detailed look at the 10 Standards it evaluates during the accreditation process.
So, what happens during the NAEYC accreditation process? Accreditation requires the completion of a rigorous and comprehensive period of self-study involving administrators, staff and parents. The self-study identifies program strengths and areas for continued improvement; and a development plan is established to map out goals and strategies for program enhancement. Once the self-study is completed, a team of independent evaluators, representing leaders in the field of early childhood education, conducts an on-site visit to determine whether the program meets or exceeds accreditation standards and established quality indicators and, ultimately, merits accreditation.
When an Academy receives accreditation, here are just a few things it signals to parents:
- Qualified and prepared teachers and staff
- A safe, caring environment
- Excellent communications with families
- An ongoing process of self-review and improvement
- High-quality curriculum and practices
“To a parent, this means we’re held to higher standards than a non-accredited center,” Robertson emphasized. “It’s about where you are now and where the improvement journey will lead you. We encourage all our Academies to exceed the standards every year. Accreditation shows parents that when we say we’re a quality child care provider, it’s backed by a standards-based evaluation.”
For more information on accreditation:
“Preschool Accreditation: What it Means” – Education.com
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