Many states, including New Jersey, maintain a set of basic rules and regulations for Licensed Child Care Centers and Registered Family Child Care Homes. These rules are monitored both by the State of New Jersey and local agencies, such as Child Care Resources.
Accreditation by an accrediting organization demonstrates that your child care program has obtained a higher level of quality than is required by licensing alone. To be accredited you will need to be licensed and in operation for at least one year. The accreditation process includes a self-assessment component, then the accrediting organization would observe the program, lastly, the child care program is evaluated. Once accredited, the accreditation is granted for three to five years, depending on the accrediting organization.
During the accreditation process, the program is evaluated on specific program standards, such as, health and safety, staff professional development, staff credentials, curriculum and relationships between staff and parents.
The advantages to obtaining accreditation for your child care program include:
- The evaluation process helps improve your program
- It encourages parent involvement
- It supports children’s growth and development
- It improves your visibility to parents, because many parents search for only programs that are accredited
- It assists in recruiting new and knowledgeable staff
- A higher subsidy reimbursement rate for those programs who have enrolled families participating in the State of New Jersey’s child care subsidy programs
- It shows that you are committed to quality child care!
All types of child care programs can become accredited. Each type of child care has their own accrediting organization. Below is a list of each organization and their website:
- National Association for the Education of Young Children – http://www.naeyc.org
- National Accreditation Commission – http://www.earlylearningleaders.org
- National Early Childhood Program Accreditation – http://www.necpa.net
- National After School Association – http://naaweb.org
- National Association for Family Child Care – http://www.nafcc.org
Child Care Resources can be of assistance in guiding you through your accreditation process by:
- Linking programs going through the accreditation process with a program administrator who has already obtained accreditation for information and guidance
- Providing valuable resources for programs
- Assisting with professional development and training for staff
For more information these supports and other accreditation resources, please contact the Quality Improvement Specialist, Dina Patel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-918-9901, Ext. 133.