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The importance of preschool accreditation

The importance of preschool accreditation

When this looking for a preschool that your little one can attend You may see that some say they are accredited, some may say they are licensed, some may have both, and some may not have either. What is preschool accreditation and why is it important? Preschool accreditation is a voluntary process that is designed to improve quality programmer preschool . An accredited preschooler is guaranteed to provide his students with a high standard of care in a joyful academic environment.

Accreditation is a voluntary process in which some schools participate to demonstrate that they meet certain academic, social and quality standards.

Much more common in high schools and universities, accreditation is becoming increasingly popular in early education. This is primarily due to the fact that while a large number of elementary, middle and high schools are run by public school districts and are subject to certain standards and assessments, most preschools are run privately or through a corporation. , churches, communities. group or other organizations. Accreditation ensures compliance with certain quality standards in these locations.

Steps to accreditation

Accreditation generally has three steps: a self-assessment by the school, where administrators report the results of the accreditation agency, and an external assessment by the accreditation and approval body. If approval is not granted, the school must return to the first or second step, depending on the results. External assessment generally includes school visits, interviews with teachers and administrators, and student observations. The accreditation process can be costly and can take years, assuring parents that the school has met very high standards of education and safety.

The largest accreditation organization for preschool programs is National Association for the Education of Young Children .

Of the nearly 100,000 preschool and early education centers nationwide, only about 10% are NAEYC accredited, according to GreatSchools .

NAEYC has ten standards which your on-site consultants evaluate in a series of site visits:

  • Relations
  • Curriculum
  • Handing over
  • Assessing the child’s progress
  • Health
  • Staff skills, training and support
  • Families
  • Community Relations
  • Physical environment
  • Leadership and management

Recommendations for accreditation

As the process progresses and ends, recommendations are made to preschoolers on what they need to do to obtain accreditation. And not all recommendations are related to academics. For example, a health and safety recommendation could include checking heating and air conditioning units every year to check their efficiency and cleanliness. A safety audit by an inspector or safety specialist will ensure that both children and staff are safe at school.

From an academic point of view, accreditation means that the school meets the highest possible standards with teachers who have met all their educational requirements and continue to train in the field. In addition, accrediting groups require preschoolers to meet standards that go beyond state regulatory requirements.

An accredited preschool program should not be confused with one that is authorized. To be accredited, a program must be authorized, but not all authorized programs are accredited.

It is also important to note that if the preschooler your child attends is through a religious organization, such as a church or temple, they are often exempt from many accreditation requirements.

Other preschool accreditation programs include:

  • Accredited Vocational Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)
  • American Montessori Society (AMS)
  • International Association of Christian Schools
  • Accreditation of the National Early Childhood Program (NECPA)

Check with each individual group for information about the standards and the accreditation process.