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July 11: Children's School Earns NAEYC Accreditation


Kelli McElhinny                       

Carnegie Mellon Children's School
Earns NAEYC Accreditation

Program One of First in Nation To Complete More Rigorous Accreditation Process

Children's School LogoPITTSBURGH—The Children's School at Carnegie Mellon University is one of the first early childhood programs to complete the more rigorous accreditation process that the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals - launched in September 2006.
"We're proud to have demonstrated consistent quality and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said Sharon Carver, Children's School director and a teaching professor in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Psychology. "NAEYC accreditation has always been the gold standard for early childhood education, but with this new, more in-depth process, earning the recognition is even more rewarding." 
The Children's School, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall, offers a model half-day preschool and full-day kindergarten program for approximately 100 children between the ages of 3 and 6, plus an extended day program for about 30 of those children. The school not only provides preschool and kindergarten education, but it is also engaged in developmental psychology research, undergraduate teaching, and training of both pre-service and practicing educators.
To earn NAEYC accreditation in the new system, the Children's School completed an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the 10 new NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The Children's School received NAEYC accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the 10 NAEYC program standards, such as teaching, and leadership and management. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.
In the 20 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 11,000 programs, serving one million young children, are currently accredited by the NAEYC - approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.
"The new NAEYC accreditation system raises the bar for preschools, child care centers and other early childhood programs," said NAEYC Executive Director Mark Ginsberg. "The Children's School's NAEYC accreditation is a sign that they are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education and to help give all children a better start."
The NAEYC accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. As of September 2006, the association's revised program standards and criteria have introduced a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. The NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.