By John Lynds
Last week, the East Boston Social Centers (EBSC) became the second early childcare program in the neighborhood to earn accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.
“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality for our center from NAEYC,” said EBSC early childcare director Michele D’Ambrosio. “Jeffries Point Child Care Center, Social Sprouts, Oh Yes! Preschool all have the highest quality of standards. It takes a team of families and staff to achieve this, so I want to thank the entire EBSC family.”
A NAEYC accreditation lets families in Eastie know that children in a early childcare program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible. The EBSC is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Childcare for children ages 2 months to 6 years old.
To earn NAEYC accreditation in the new system, the EBSC went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against 10 new NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria.
The program received NAEYC accreditation after an onsite 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 Executive Director of NAEYC Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D. “The EBSC’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.”
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.