The Hawaii Early Childhood Accreditation Project (HECAP) provides everything you need to know to join us in offering high-quality early childhood programs through NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards & Criteria.

HECAP is designed to meet your individual staff and program needs. The project focuses on providing free support and assistance to any early childhood program in the state whose goal is to achieve high quality through program improvements and NAEYC Accreditation.

The Hawaii Early Childhood Accreditation Project (HECAP) nurtures early childhood programs that are striving to offer Hawaii’s children quality early learning experiences. The HECAP staff is on-hand to offer free support, guidance, assistance, and suggestions in the journey towards NAEYC Accreditation.

Click here to download an informational brochure about HECAP

The hecap program includes:

  • Program observations and feedback by an Accreditation Facilitator (1-4 per year depending on level)
  • Ongoing services of an Accreditation Facilitator
  • Customized training coordinated by the HECAP project
  • Notification of training opportunities
  • Participation in training
  • Access to the resource library
  • Mentor to support program through the self-study process
  • Participation in Accreditation support meetings
  • Reimbursement for NAEYC Accreditation Fees (up to 50%)
  • Paperwork Support (applications, annual report)
  • A subscription to the Quality Gazette newsletter

The HECAP program is a FREE service offered by HAEYC.

How to apply

The application process for HECAP involves a demonstration of commitment to accreditation by everyone connected to the operation of your preschool. To apply, follow these steps:

  1. Download the HECAP Intake Form or contact us to have one sent to you.
  2. Purchase the book NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards & Criteria from the HAEYC office or from the NAEYC catalog or via the NAEYC website.
  3. Read the book NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards & Criteria before the application meeting.
  4. Attend the application meeting with at least one representative of your staff and one from your board of directors.
  5. Turn in the HECAP Agreement Form signed by the director and representatives of the board and staff
  6. Schedule an improving quality observation.
  7. Discuss the observation meeting results 6. with the accreditation facilitator and construct a reasonable time line for making any program changes necessary.

Once the application process is completed and the improving quality readiness observation has taken place, the project staff and advisory board will decide the level of participation for each program.

Participation Levels


Early Accreditation Support is for programs that are more than 24 months away from applying for accreditation.


Pre-Accreditation Support is for programs within approximately 24 months away from applying for accreditation.


Re-accreditation Support is for programs that are currently accredited and are seeking re-accreditation.


Accredited Support is for programs that are currently accredited and are seeking to achieve higher quality.

Training Benefits


  • Introduction to the New NAEYC Accreditation Process: the Right Choice for Kids – Seminar Length
  • Overview of NAEYC Standards & Criteria
  • Classroom Portfolio
  • Program Portfolio


  • Relationships
  • Curriculum
  • Teaching
  • Assessment of Child Progress
  • Health
  • Teachers
  • Families
  • Community Relationships
  • Physical Environment
  • Leadership & Management


  • Management
  • Teacher/Child Relationships
  • Designing Learning Environment
  • Extending Language and Thinking
  • Observation & Assessment
  • Physical Development
  • Hawaii Preschool Content Standards for 4-Year Olds
  • Provide Template & Assistance in Completing

Need help with funding?

Eligible program can request for up to 50% reimbursement for the Self Study, Application, Candidacy, Annual Report, Equipment, Materials, or other needs.

Questions about the hecap project?

If you have any questions about NAEYC accreditation or the HECAP Project email accreditation@hawaiiaeyc.org or call the HawaiiAEYC office at (808) 942-4708.

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