Child care centers, family child care homes and school-age child care programs may apply for and receive national accreditation from the following organizations. The accreditation guidelines vary but are generally higher than those required by local or state regulations and licensing.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
This organization has developed a set of quality standards that center-based, part-day preschools, and Head Start pre-kindergarten programs must meet to receive accreditation. Receipt of accreditation indicates that an early education program provides a high quality learning environment for children that exceeds the threshold for quality set by licensing requirements. Programs must complete a self-study, submit an application, and have ratings verified by an NAEYC validator. For more information, click here to visit the NAEYC website.
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
This professional organization offers education and support for quality programming in family child care. It has developed a set of standards that define quality for family child care homes. To have a program accredited by NAFCC, the family child care home provider must complete a self study to rate the degree to which standards are met, submit an application to NAFCC, and have the ratings validated by an NAFCC Observer. For more information, click here to visit the NAFCC website.
National AfterSchool Association (NAA)
This professional support network promotes quality programs for children and youth in their out-of-school time, and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST). NAA accredits programs that meet these quality standards, based on a self-study and an NAA Endorser’s ratings of compliance with the standards. For more information, click here to visit the NAA website.