Is Accreditation Necessary? Absolutely!

Looking for the best childcare options in your area is never easy. Luckily, the accreditation process helps parents, teachers, and children reach the highest levels of academic achievement and improvement at every level and every age group.

On episode four of the Parenting and Teaching podcast, Richie Huffman and Ali Kraus break down what accreditation is and how it affects the decision-making process when it comes to your childcare options as a parent.

Director of Childcare for the Maryland State Department of Education, Jen Nizer describes the importance of early education and how Maryland continues to provide top-tier options for parents.

Jen’s background speaks for itself. She started from the
ground up developing her knowledge as a Teacher’s Assistant, then moving to
advanced education where she was able to become more involved with parents.

Jen understands early childcare from the perspective of a parent, an educator, an administrator, and now as a civic leader in the field.

It’s important also for providers, directors, teachers, to truly understand accreditation – to be able to tell the parents the processes they went through and the gains they went through in those processes.”

What Exactly is Accreditation?!?

The United States Department of education defines the accreditation process’s objectives stating, “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality.”

Jen describes the process as a, “quality improvement initiative.”

The goal from the top to the bottom remains the same. Improve education for every child and encourage parents to trust that the educational institutions available to their children are constantly and consistently improving and searching for the very best practices. The variations between different accreditations are great but have a similar goal of self-evaluation at the mercy of a third party.

The Maryland State Accreditation provides a free examination
of the operations, costs, processes, and goals of educational facilities, but
as Jen explains, remains one of the most rigorous in the country.

A more recognizable accreditation program, The National Association for the Education of Young Children helped Jen and Richie implement new tactics at their early learning facilities. NAEYC remains widely recognized nationwide.

The First Steps

It’s never easy to start into childcare as a parent and sometimes its even more difficult as someone trying to begin a childcare program that offers a sense of stability and safety for a parent. Accreditation provides that assurance. What are the ways to become accredited in Maryland?

First and foremost, you’ll need to provide childcare for over one year to qualify for Maryland State Accreditation. Additional requirements include positive staff interactions, administrative knowledge, and health and safety education.

As dry as this may sound, its actual very detailed and very closely monitored. Accreditation takes over a year and every credible educational outlet undergoes the process.

The more often, the better. The more involved the family, students, and educators become, the better. The more knowledgeable each become, the best. 

The NAEYC offers some of the most significant critiques of learning centers across the country and remains the gold standard for educational review; hence why Celebree Learning Centers adhere to their standards and more.