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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
April 24, 2003

Carnegie Mellon's Children's School Receives NAEYC Accreditation

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Children's School recently gained accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Only about 6 percent of early childhood programs nationwide have achieved this.

NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process by which early childhood programs demonstrate that they meet national standards of excellence. Programs that seek accreditation must collect information from parents, teachers and administrators, and undergo classroom observations conducted by early childhood professionals trained by NAEYC. An independent team of national experts reviews this information and decides whether a program should receive accreditation.

The Children's School was founded 35 years ago and is part of the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon. About 90 children in preschool and kindergarten attend the school, which also serves as a research lab for psychology students studying early childhood cognitive development. The school used a developmental approach with specific learning goals for children in six categories: self-esteem and independence, interaction and cooperation, communication, discovery and exploration, physical capabilities, and artistic expression and appreciation.

The Children's School also provides professional development services and training to child care workers throughout the Pittsburgh region.

"We strive to recruit a diverse student population, both ethnically and socio-economically, to provide a diverse subject pool for research, broad experiences for psychology students and student teachers, and an enriched learning environment for our children and their families," said Sharon Carver, director of the Children's School. "By capitalizing on our talents in all of these areas, our high quality laboratory school exemplifies new directions that can be utilized by professionals in various disciplines to meet the changing needs of society."

NAEYC spokeswoman Barbara Willer said the organization's accreditation focuses on the children's experience and carefully considers health and safety, staff qualifications and the physical environment.

"The greatest emphasis is on the children's relationship with the staff and how the program helps each child grow and learn intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally," Willer said.

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