Every parent is on the quest to find a “good preschool”, but what does “good” really mean?
NAEYC – The National Association for the Education of Young Children – has set 10 quality standards for early childhood programs. NAEYC is the nation’s leading organization for accreditation of preschools, kindergartens, and day care centers and also serves as the leading professional organization of early childhood educators.
Understanding the NAEYC standards can help guide parents to find high-quality preschool, kindergarten, and child care centers for their children.
What to Look for in Early Childhood Education Programs
1. Quality Relationships Between Children, Teachers, Caregivers
2. Rich Curriculum
Children should be provided a variety of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities, supporting all aspects of their development — academic, social, emotional, and physical. Curriculum should be planned and systematically implemented.
3. Appropriate Teaching
Teachers should support of a variety of learning styles and developmental needs of children.
4. Assessment of Child Progress
Schools should evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and communicate routinely with parents.
5. Health Conscious
Policies should be implemented to ensure the healthy and safety of children including school cleaning, equipment safety, and nutrition.
6. Competent Preschool Teachers and Caregivers
Teachers should have appropriate educational training, professional experience, and on-going professional development opportunities.
7. Family Involvement
Schools and parents should work together to support a child’s development both at home and school. All families should feel welcomed and included in the school community.
8. Community Relationships
Schools should help connect families and children to the broader community by fostering relationships with local resources such as libraries, museums, and non-profit organizations.
9. Physical Environment
Children need a safe, well-maintained environment for learning.
10. Leadership and Management
Effective schools need strong leadership with sound financial and organizational management.