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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2008
Early Childhood Education Center Receives Reaccreditation
The College of the Canyons Center for Early Childhood Education has obtained program reaccreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) -- verifying that the program is in full compliance with nationally recognized criteria for high-quality early childhood programs.
An integral part of the department of Early Childhood Education (ECE), the center, which includes both a laboratory style toddler and preschool programs, is one of the first centers in the nation to earn reaccreditation status under the NAEYC’s reinvented accreditation system which was instituted in late 2006.
As a result, the NAEYC accreditation validates the college’s ECE center as an outstanding setting for teacher/caregiver training to be modeled by other programs, while also ensuring parents that their children are enrolled in an ECE program of the highest quality.
“We’re proud to again have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Diane Stewart, dean of ECE and training programs. “NAEYC accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.”
To achieve NAEYC accreditation under the new system, the college’s ECE center volunteered to be measured against the most robust and rigorous national standards on education, health and safety.
Consisting of an extensive self-study process, which measures the program and its services against the ten new NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards -- relationships; curriculum; teaching; assessment of child progress; health; teachers; families; community relationships; physical environment; leadership and management -- and more than 400 related accreditation criteria, the program received accreditation status after an on-site visit by an NAEYC assessor in May.
“Through the self-study process, we were able to step back and examine all aspects of the program which allowed us to see where we implement best practices and where we can improve,” said Wendy Ruiz, ECE Center toddler director.
Results of the accreditation site visit showed that the college’s ECE center program standards exceeded the criteria threshold mandated for NAEYC accreditation in all 10 areas -- with nine of the 10 assessed categories receiving a score of better than 90 percent, and six categories scoring in the 100 percentile. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.
“We are very proud of our high scores. Every staff member works hard to meet the mark of program excellence,” said Monica Marshall, ECE Center preschool director. “Evaluation and reflection help set a framework for a plan of action to be put into place for continuous improvements and professional development opportunities.”
The NAEYC accreditation system was created in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child-care centers and other early education programs.
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 1 million young children, are currently accredited by NAEYC -- approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.
The NAEYC’s revised program standards and criteria have introduced a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child-care programs -- reflecting the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development.
The College of the Canyons Center for Early Childhood Education is committed to providing high-quality care and education for infants, toddlers and preschool children, while modeling an exemplary developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive learning/lab environment.
Located on the COC campus, the Center for ECE program includes a laboratory style toddler and preschool, which features a developmentally appropriate environment, including a variety of educational and creative material designed to stimulate both learning and social interaction. The primary focus of the program is to promote feelings of competence and self worth, which will serve as a strong foundation in the child’s future growth and education.
For more information about the College of the Canyons Department of Early Childhood Education or the campus’ Center for Early Childhood Education, visit www.canyons.edu/ece or call (661) 362-3501.