NAEYC Accreditation - Cyert Center for Early Education - Carnegie Mellon University

NAEYC Accreditation 

from NAEYC Accreditation: A Commitment to Excellence in Early Childhood Education

The National Association for the Education of Young Children, the world's largest organization of early childhood educators, established its accreditation system to raise the quality of early childhood education and help families and others identify high-quality child care centers, preschools, kindergartens, and other early childhood programs. NAEYC accredited programs are committed to providing high-quality educational services to young children and their families. While the accreditation process examines all aspects of a program including health and safety, teacher qualifications, and administration, the focus is on the quality of interactions between teachers and children and the nature of the child's experience. To earn accreditation, programs comply with national standards of quality that go well beyond state health and safety licensing requirements.  The NAEYC accreditation criteria address all aspects of an early childhood education program, including the following.

  • Teacher qualifications and development
  • Teacher-to-child ratios
  • Teacher/child and teacher/family relationships
  • Curriculum
  • Physical environment
  • Health and Safety
A program begins the accreditation process with an extensive self-study to determine how closely it meets these criteria. After the program makes any necessary improvements, it is observed by early childhood professionals and then reviewed by a national commission of childcare and early education experts. Early childhood programs that substantially comply with the NAEYC guidelines are accredited for a five-year period.