What Does Accreditation Mean for Early Childhood Education Programs?
Natick has 19 licensed early childhood programs, but only 3 of those are accredited by the NAEYC
Did you know that there are 19 licensed early childhood programs located in the town of Natick? Now, do you know how many of those 19 programs have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study and continuous improvement through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)? Significantly less. Natick only has 3 NAEYC Accredited programs. And of those three, two are part of The Tobin Family of Schools: The Tobin Children’s School and The Tobin School, both sister schools of Westwood Children’s School.
Why Should Accreditation Matter to Families Seeking Care?
NAEYC, based in Washington, DC, is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC’s mission is to promote high-quality learning for all children, birth through age 8. They also seek to advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. NAEYC’s efforts include national and regional professional development and conferences, promoting policies to support children and families, providing research-based resources to families and educators, and offering national accreditation for early childhood higher education programs in preparing new educators as well as early childhood programs across the country.
NAEYC Accreditation: a Rigorous Process and Seal of Quality
For over 30 years, NAEYC Accreditation has been a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Less than 10% of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens achieve this recognition. While most early childhood programs are licensed by the state of Massachusetts, NAEYC Accreditation demands a higher level of care in all areas of a program’s operation, including:
- Relationships between teachers and children
- Curriculum and assessment methods
- Teacher qualifications and practices
- Communication with families and community relations
- Health, safety and physical environment
- Program leadership and management
Attaining NAEYC Accreditation is a multi-year process that includes a thorough program self-study, followed by extensive documentation in advance of a visit from a highly trained NAEYC Accreditor. To receive a mark of NAEYC Accreditation, a program must demonstrate their quality by meeting the 10 NAEYC Early Learning Program Standards; research-based practices that have been proven to support young children.
Tobin Children’s School: NAEYC Accredited early childhood program
The Tobin Children’s School just received notice of their NAEYC Reaccreditation, receiving an average score of 98% in all categories. A program’s Accreditation lasts for five years, with required annual reports to ensure continued quality of practice.
I know I speak for our entire Natick Tobin Family of Schools’ faculty when I share how proud we are to have earned this mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards. We invite you to learn more about NAEYC Accreditation (https://www.naeyc.org/) and how valuable this higher level of quality can be when choosing a program for your own children.