What is NAEYC?
NAEYC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, is an organization that works to standardize and recognize high quality early childhood programs. NAEYC provides opportunities for professional development, sets standards for early childhood education and recognizes centers that meet these benchmarks, advocates on behalf of early childhood programs and services for families and creates a network of organizations that provide high quality early childhood programs.
What does NAEYC accreditation mean?
An early childhood center that attains NAEYC accreditation is among the best. Accreditation is a symbol of quality, an indication that the center offers exceptional programming for children, with qualified teachers in a safe and nurturing environment.
Is NAEYC accreditation required for child care centers?
No, accreditation is voluntary and requires a lot of work on the part of the center. Rigorous evaluations, assessments and reviews of staff and administrators are conducted. Center facilities, curriculum, programming are all reviewed and scrutinized. In addition to all the paperwork that must be completed and site visits by NAEYC validators.
In Pennsylvania, only about 6% of child care centers are NAEYC accredited.
What is Keystone STARS?
Keystone STARS is the child care quality rating system for the state of Pennsylvania. It works to improve, support and recognize continuous quality improvement efforts among early childhood education centers, Pre-K Counts and Head Start programs, by awarding a star rating, ranging from one to four stars. Keystone STARS ratings are another way for parents to compare the quality of early childhood programs.
How are STARS awarded?
The STARS signify performance standards on four levels and each level builds on the previous one. The standards promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes and include staff qualifications and professional development, partnerships with family and community, center management and the curriculum of the program. The centers must provide a healthy, safe and exciting environment where children can feel comfortable learning and exploring.
Do all centers receive a STAR?
Yes. Any child care program licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) is automatically a STAR 1.
What is the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Awards
Since 2001, 20 FELS Teachers have won this prestigious award. The purpose of The Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) National Child Care Teacher Awards™ sponsored by the makers of Children’s TYLENOL®” is to raise the status and visibility of quality child care. Since 1994, these awards have been acknowledging the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. The teachers are selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve.