Early Care and Education Programs
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has created ten standards that measure the quality of early childhood programs. The standards were created by a blue-ribbon panel of early childhood experts and are based on the latest early childhood research with four areas of focus.
The primary focus is, of course, children, which incorporates five early childhood program standards, each advancing children's growth in realms of learning and development. Achieving excellence requires early childhood programs to have an effective and durable support structure. This support structure promotes program accountability and makes it possible for classroom life to be consistently nurturing and filled with learning opportunities for each child - and for this high level of quality to be sustained over time. This caliber of program quality depends on Teaching Staff, Partnerships, and Administration, the three additional focus areas, which encompass five additional program standards.
These standards and criteria are evidence-based and grounded in six explicit values:
- The uniqueness of childhood as a developmental phase:
- The essential contribution to optimal child learning and development of reciprocal, respectful relationships with children and their families;
- The distinctive opportunity from birth through kindergarten to support children's intellectual, language, and social-emotional development;
- The essential role of partnerships with families and communities;
- The significance of a strong program infrastructure in providing high-quality care and education, and
- The importance of the quality of children's lives in the present, not only as preparation for the future.
These values reiterate the Association's core belief that children are the ultimate beneficiaries of NAEYC Accreditation and strive to ensure that young children in accredited programs receive consistently high-quality care and education that contributes to their positive learning and development.
School Age Programs
The After School Works! NY Program Accreditation is the official state affiliate of the National Afterschool Association and serves as a non-profit membership association for after-school professionals in New York State. It is the ultimate indication of program quality.
The Accreditation process supports a team approach to program improvement and fosters a competent, caring, and qualified staff. Through an extensive network of intermediaries, training organizations, and child care resource and referral agencies, AfterSchool Works! provides our afterschool program with the tools we need to build high-quality, sustainable afterschool programming.
A quality program is academically responsive and provides activities that are aligned with and enhance learning standards and curricula. There are 26 quality standards that must be met in order to be accredited by the AfterSchool Works! program. By meeting these standards we can ensure our program is a quality program that promotes the safety, health, and nutrition of all participants that provides a rich array of activities and opportunities supporting the physical, social, and cognitive growth and development of your child.
Standards are measured on the development, nurturing, and the maintenance of positive relationships and interactions among staff, participants, families, and our surrounding community which reiterate the center's core belief that children are the ultimate beneficiaries of consistently high-quality care and education that contributes to their positive learning and development.