There are currently more than 7,000 NAEYC-accredited programs, serving more than 600,000 children and their families nation-wide. 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. These revisions have established quality levels that can apply to the complex range of program providers in the early childhood care and learning field, from child care centers to family child care providers to family-child interaction learning programs (FCIL).

Why NAEYC Accreditation?

NAEYC Accreditation of programs for young children represents the mark of quality in early childhood education. The goal is to provide an national accreditation system that would raise the quality level of early childhood programs for the benefit of our children.

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 throughout their career 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.

Hawai‘i understands the direct correlation between high-quality early child care and learning, and positive, long-term outcomes in a child's life. We also recognize that every dollar spent on early childhood programs returns $4 to $16 on that investment. For that reason, Hawai‘i passed Act 46 in 2020. This law, with slight modifications, requires programs to achieve a demonstrated level of quality to continue to receive tuition reimbursement for families receiving Child Care Connections or Preschool Open Doors funds. NAEYC accreditation is specifically identifed as one of the national accreditation programs providers can use to demonstrate quality.

Act 46 also provides help. Subsequent laws extended the time programs have to achieve accreditation to 2034. In addition to monitoring programs' current accreditation levels, the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) will also support providers.

  • Up to 50% of accreditation fees can be reimbursed to the provider.
  • Technical assistance can also be reimbursed to the provider.
  • A currently undetermined amount of additional expenses relating to repairs and the purchasing of materials and equipment to acheive accreditation are also part of the legislation.

It will take some time to get this together, so keep checking back here for updates. Want to have a voice in subsequent legislation? Go to the Public Policy tab at the top of this page, or click the button below.

Want to know more about what technical assistance is, and how you can get reimbursed accreditation assistance now? Click the HECAP button below to get a brochure, or for more information on HIAEYC's Hawai‘i Early Childhood Accreditation Project, click the HECAP link to the left.

Want some more information about NAEYC accreditation and the accreditation process? Click the button below.

Become a Member! Help build a better future for all young children - and all of us.

Join Today