Currently there are more than 7,000 NAEYC-accredited programs, serving more than 600,000 children and their families. Since the system began in 1985, NAEYC accreditation has provided a powerful tool through which early childhood professionals, families, and others concerned about the quality of early childhood education can evaluate programs, compare them with professional standards, strengthen the program and commit to ongoing evaluation and improvement.

Significant growth in and demands on the accreditation system led the NAEYC Governing Board to establish a project to reinvent accreditation by developing new program standards, criteria, and assessment procedures and by taking immediate steps to improve the reliability and accountability of the system while better managing the demand for accreditation.

Why NAEYC Accreditation

NAEYC Accreditation of programs for young children represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. NAEYC Accreditation began in 1985 with the goal of providing an accreditation system that would raise the level of early childhood programs. Today, over 7,000 programs are NAEYC Accredited.

NAEYC Accreditation programs invest in early childhood education because they believe in the benefits to children and families. Early childhood experiences—from birth to age 8–have an enormous impact on children’s lifelong learning and positively contribute to their health and development. Early childhood education programs with the mark of quality benefit children with greater readiness for and success in school.

It is for this reason that parents and families are seeking out NAEYC-accredited programs. Parents choosing an early childhood education program can be overwhelmed by trying to find the highest-quality program for their child. NAEYC Accreditation gives families the chance to make the Right Choice For Kids.

Benefits of being an NAEYC Accredited Program

The federal role in early childhood care and education is a critical one. The appropriate role of the federal government is to:

  • Helps build a stronger team of teachers, administrators and families working together to improve quality for children.
  • Improved standards for the overall program.
  • Recognition through NAEYC, including program listings on teh NAEYC website in the Program Search section.
  • Announcement of program’s accreditation in the NAEYC Early Learning News weekly newsletter to programs, members, media and others.
  • Use of NAEYC Accredited logo for marketing purposes
  • Attracts more families to enroll their children at program

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