When Child Development Center Director Carol Silva chose to seek accreditation for the Center through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), she knew she was adding more to a full plate of responsibilities. “Already Texas Rising Star Provider Certified, our whole team understands the accreditation process is very thorough and takes a real investment in time, resources and funds,” Silva said, “Looking to the future, we want to be able to serve more children while keeping or improving the quality of our programs. Accreditation can also put us in a position to acquire more funding in the form of grants, or as a part of a larger community PreK effort.
NAEYC represents the mark of quality in early childhood education and is dedicated to improving early childhood education offering a voluntary accreditation process for high-quality programs. NAEYC accredited 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 that lay the foundation for school readiness. “We knew the process of accreditation would make us better equipped to give all our children an even stronger foundation for their subsequent educational paths and a good start in life,” said Silva.
The time commitment is generally from three to five years. The financial cost of participating in the system—starting with the NAEYC fees, the cost of required consultants, expenses for improvements—can add up. “The CDC is fortunate to be partnering with Texas Workforce Commission in this process. They provide coaching and mentoring from members of the Family Service Association staff, and also help with fees and equipment necessary during the accreditation period,” explains Silva.
Silva and the entire staff must work together as a team and make a professional commitment to manage a four step process which includes meeting the 10 standards considered benchmarks of NAEYC accreditation. These standards include promoting positive relationships for all children and adults and implementing a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development. Read more about the accreditation process.
Silva concludes by saying, “We invite our parents/guardians to learn more and join us in the accreditation process. All we can do together will make the Center’s programs for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age developmentally and educationally ready to excel going forward.”