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August 24, 2012

News

CDC earns 5-year reaccreditation,
marks 20 years since 1st accreditation

The Fort McCoy Child Development Center (CDC) earned its five-year reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This marks 20 years of attaining and maintaining accreditation since the CDC originally was accredited in 1992. NAEYC is recognized as one of the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.
PHOTO: Erin Wazelle assists children in the 3-5 year old program at the Fort McCoy Child Development Center. Photo by Rob Schuette
Erin Wazelle assists children in the 3-5 year old program at the Fort McCoy Child Development Center. The facility recently earned a five-year reaccreditation.
(Photo by Rob Schuette )

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Jan Fink, Fort McCoy Child, Youth & School (CYS) Services coordinator. “NAEYC Accreditation lets Families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.”

Fort McCoy, along with other Military CDCs, is required to be certified to operate by the Department of Defense as well as being nationally accredited by an outside professional early childhood accrediting agency to ensure it offers quality child care. Fink said having the designation demonstrates the care and services Fort McCoy Families receive and ensures that wherever military Families are stationed, consistent quality child care is available.

Chelsey Smith, Fort McCoy CDC director, said the entire CDC staff takes pride in the program achieving reaccreditation and wants to offer Families in the community the best-possible child care service. The reaccreditation is valid for five years, from 2012-2017.

“This ensures parents are bringing their children to a high-quality program and facility,” Smith said. “It takes a lot of work to get reaccredited. I’m proud the staff put in the work, and the recognition shows we offer quality care.”

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the Fort McCoy CDC went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the 10 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 program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs also are subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation/reaccreditation.

The installation was judged in 10 categories: relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment of child progress, health, teachers, facilities, community relationships, physical environment and leadership and management. Fink said the CDC met standards in all categories and exceeded 100 percent in seven categories.

“Exceeding 100 percent in a category means you exceed the required standards for that category by also implementing emerging best practices that are goals to attain but not yet a requirement.” Fink said. “We’re always focused on continuous improvement of our program and meeting any future standards that may occur.”

In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education.

More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC — approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.

“The NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, Ph.D, executive director of NAEYC. “Having earned NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that the Fort McCoy CDC is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education.”

The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985.
 
In September 2006, the association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards today 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.

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit www.naeyc.org/academy.

(Information from a news release submitted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children is included in this story.)

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