About NAEYC Accreditation 

NAEYC strives to raise the quality of education for all children from birth through age eight. Accreditation systems are a major part of NAEYC’s efforts to improve early childhood education; they allow programs to provide the best learning experiences for young children and their educators by meeting national standards of quality. To learn more about NAEYC’s accreditation systems, visit the NAEYC website.

About NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs

Since 1985, NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs has served as a transformative quality-improvement system that sets professional standards for early learning programs and helps families identify programs of the highest quality. Using a set of 10 research-based program standards, NAEYC Accreditation collaborates with early education centers to recognize great work already under way and to work together to understand and address areas that need improvement. To learn more about NAEYC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs, visit the NAEYC website.

About NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs

Since 2006, NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs has served as a quality improvement and quality assurance system accrediting early childhood degree programs that demonstrate evidence of excellence by meeting the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards. The NAEYC accreditation process provides a framework for self-study, external evaluation, and improvement in the quality of teacher preparation programs. To learn more about NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs, visit the NAEYC website.

Accreditation Testimony

“The process of applying for accreditation was extremely rewarding for me and my staff!  While initially intimidated by some of the standards, through the SAM Project we found all the professional and financial support needed to understand and meet the criterion. I would encourage anyone who believes in doing the right thing for the right reasons for children to seek NAEYC accreditation and to do so with the numerous benefits available through the SAM Project.  I am proud to say, our preschool lives the NAEYC standards thanks to the NAEYC Accreditation process.” — Elaine Quinn, Director of Little Angels Preschool, Barrington, Illinois    


“I would like to recommend the SAM project to any Director that is considering going through the accreditation process to help in organizing the centers steps and giving support and clarification of the standards. For my Assistant Director and me it was very beneficial to attend the meetings together and then share with our staff during our monthly staff meetings, creating a team atmosphere. The SAM project facilitators designed each meeting creatively engaging us in activities that involved the criteria we were discussing that evening so we could have a first hand experience or learning activity to take back to our staff. By the facilitators dividing the criteria up giving us assignments for each meeting it helped to keep us on the time line that was developed by each team member for their center. It was extremely helpful to rotate to each of our centers and develop a sense of team between each of the Directors so we could learn from each other and gain new insights on various ways to meet particular criteria. Since we have completed the process and are awaiting the commission’s decision we continue to support one another.” — Eva Hartwig, Wee Care Children’s Center, Wilmette, Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where do I go to get the current NAEYC position statements?

You can click here to see NAEYC Position Statements on issues related to early childhood education practice, policy, and/or professional development for which there are controversial or critical opinions.


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