The history and mission of NAEYC
The foundation for future success in a person’s life starts in early childhood with high quality education and childcare.
There is a small window of opportunity to provide this life-changing care, and the guidance of high standards ensures that children get what they need. Not only does it set them up for a stronger future, society as a whole benefits as well.
So who is responsible for setting those standards and ensuring that top quality, researched-based education & care is available for children in this country? That’s where the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) comes in.
Since 1926, NAEYC has served as the "gold standard" for fostering quality within the early education profession.
Their mission? To help all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential. Additionally, their standards give families a way to choose the best care for their children, providing them with unmatched peace of mind.
NAEYC works to ensure providers of childcare and early education have access to cutting edge research and support and are held to the highest policy standards. Through these efforts, they help ensure that every child from birth through age eight has the support they need to flourish..
Setting the standard for early education and care
One way that NAEYC achieves its mission is with its 10 Standards for Education Programs. NAEYC empowers parents with information on what high quality looks like so they are better informed before choosing which childcare center or education institution to enroll their children in. They also form the basis of the NAEYC Accreditation System for early childhood programs:
- Assessment of Child Progress
- Staff Competencies, Preparation, and Support
- Community Relationships
- Physical Environments
- Leadership and Management
Worcester currently has 11 NAEYC-accredited childcare programs.
One of those local programs spoke about the re-accreditation process:
“Our teachers were very involved in documenting and presenting how their classrooms and curriculum met NAEYC’s criteria,” said Satya Rameshwar, Preschool Coordinator at Rainbow Child Development Center. “They saw how aligned they were with NAEYC’s standards and how much they contributed to student growth.”
Read more about accredited Central Massachusetts childcare programs here: “Quality is Job #1 for Childcare Programs”
Ongoing improvements to standards and policy
NAEYC is always looking to grow, evolve, and improve the definition of “quality”. Like all industries, determining the highest standards of quality is a work-in-progress.
NAEYC consistently stays on top of timely and critical early education issues and research. By implementing developmentally appropriate practices, advancing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and advocating for fair public policy, it puts quality into action. NAEYC defines quality in partnership with its membership who commit to rigorous standards on behalf of young children, families and educators..
Edward Street remains involved through active memberships and participation
Edward Street and Master Teacher Jo Ann Borinski actively shapes and leads the efforts at the NAEYC Massachusetts Affiliate. Her involvement includes offering professional development courses and training, hosting advocacy events , and providing local educators with resources they need to achieve high quality standards in their classrooms.
Local educators in Worcester County also work hard to uphold NAEYC’s rigorous standards. They ensure that the quality standards are implemented locally through advocacy, continuing education and coaching, mentorship, training, and professional development.
The ultimate goal for NAEYC
What is NAEYC’s ultimate objective? To clearly develop and articulate the gold standards of quality (their 10 Standards for Education Programs) and ensure they are successfully achieved and routinely practiced by teachers, administrators, and aides all through the Central Massachusetts’ education system and beyond.
The time for quality is now, during this short window of time. In every sense, achieving quality in the classroom impacts the lives of our children and educators for the better.
To learn more about NAEYC, visit naeyc.org