The Hawaii Early Childhood Accreditation Project (HECAP) provides technical assistance to early childhood care and learning providers across the State of Hawai‘i that are interesting in engaging in the NAEYC accreditation process. Trained HECAP facilitators are county-based to provide higher levels of responsiveness and connections to enrolled providers, and a more relevant and intimate connection to the unique operational issues within each county. HECAP is a fee-for-service program, meaning there is a charge for services to keep the program sustainable. However, there is a stipend currently available to help you with your fees.
Back in 2020, the state legislature passed Act 2020 to both raise the quality level of early childhood care and education in Hawai‘i, and increase the access to that care for all families. Under Act 46, every family receiving Preschool Open Doors reimbursement for child care must have their child enrolled in a nationally accredited preschool. This means that center-based child care providers, family child care providers, and others providing early childhood care and education who have families receiving Preschool Open Doors, need to be accredited or seeking accreditation by 2029. Those seeking accreditation need to achieve accreditation by 2034. Please remember that it takes more than a year to get accredited for the first time.
NAEYC was the first to set a national quality standard for early child care in the 1980's. It establishes 10 standards, including indoor and outdoor environments, curriculum, teaching practices, and teacher competencies, in addition to relationships with children, their families, and the larger community, and the quality of the provider's leadership and management of their program. NAEYC accreditation sets the quality standards.
Act 46 recognizes the cost burden that puts on early child care providers, and so it provides money to child care providers seeking and maintaining accreditation through stipends. The stipends can be used for multiple purposes, including paying for up to half the accreditation fees. It can also be used for technical assistance to help your program through the accreditation process. HECAP provides the technical assistance for NAEYC accreditation. The DHS stipend program isn't up and running yet, so they are not yet able to provide the stipends to pay all or part of the cost of accreditation. HECAP has a Kaiāulu grant to help fill in the gap while DHS designs their system.
HIAEYC has received a generous Kaiāulu grant from Kamehameha School to support programs seeking accreditation. Eligible programs can receive reimbursement of up to 50% of the NAEYC accreditation fees, and the full amount of technical assistance fees at the appropriate flat rate. You do not need to apply for the grant separately. We will use the information on the HECAP enrollment form to help us assess eligibility.
How to Apply
the HECAP project coordinator is available to answer any questions (free of charge) and can be reached by the email below or will return phone calls if a voice mail is left on the HIAEYC mainline. HECAP will offer regular information sessions and will provide timely updates to the NAEYC accreditation process. Click the application button below to get a form-fillable application. You can fill out the form and save it as a PDF, then attach it to an email to us. If you would rather go old-school, you can print out the form and mail it to us.
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Our phone is (808) 942-4708
Our address is 1806 S King Street, Suite 30; Honolulu, HI 96826
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.