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The Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation Standards


NAEYC Standards

    • The core NAEYC standards are referenced throughout higher education accreditation systems, early childhood textbooks, professional development systems, and state-level early childhood policy development


    • These core standards also guide the development of initial and advanced standards used for work in higher education accreditation.


    • The six core NAEYC Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs provide the basis for accreditation from the NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation, and NAEYC recognition of baccalaureate and graduate programs as part of National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation of schools and colleges. NAEYC is the recognized Early Childhood Education Specialty Program Accreditation body.


  • These core standards are used across both NCATE and NAEYC accreditation systems and across associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degree levels. Field experiences are addressed in both the associate degree accreditation system and the NCATE accreditation system. According to NAEYC (2011), the initial standards are used in programs preparing candidates for first-time early childhood licensure and for positions in early learning settings that do not currently require licensure. Initial programs may be offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels.


Click on this link to view the 2010 Standards for Initial Early Childhood Professional Preparation.


“The NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation process was a positive learning experience for our institution.  For the most part, I felt that the self-study process was well defined in print.  Anytime I had a question about the process, I found that the website and direct phone number were both helpful resources.  I usually received a response to a question in a short time frame.  Initially, the challenge was to examine each of our learning assessments, identify the NAEYC Professional Standards addressed in each assessment, and then identify which 6 assessments best showcased our program in relation to the NAEYC Professional Standards.  This process took several weeks.  I found that having a chart made the most sense for our program so that I could visually see where we were strongly assessing standards as well as where we needed to improve.  Once the key assessments had been identified, it was a matter of implementing the assessments, collecting data, and identifying areas for improvement. “Sherry Harpole, Dyersburg State Community College


“I feel it would mean that in effort to produce an excellent early childhood education teacher accreditation encourages us to consistently look at what we are doing to enhance and improve the teaching learning process.”Suzanne Wood, Cleveland State Community College


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