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University Children's Center earns NAEYC accreditation

January 15, 2009

The University Children's Center at Colorado State University is one of the first early childhood programs to complete the more rigorous accreditation process by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals.

Among first in nation

"We're proud to have demonstrated consistent quality and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said Dawn Becker, director of the University Children’s Center.

"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 University Children’s Center, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last fall, offers infant, toddler and preschool care and education for approximately 50 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years. Full-time and part-time programs are offered to children of faculty, staff, and students of Colorado State University. The school not only provides early childhood education, but is a site for practicum and intern students at Colorado State University. The University Children’s Center is operated by The Sunshine House, a leader in early childhood care and education for over 30 years.

Extensive self-study process, on-site visit by assessors

To earn NAEYC accreditation in the new system, The University Children’s Center went through 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 program received NAEYC accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the 10 NAEYC program standards. 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 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 Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. “The University Children’s Center’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.”

New standards reflect latest research and best practices

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. 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.

The NAEYC accreditation system was created in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

Contact: Dawn Becker
Phone: (970) 491-2862