Aroostook County Action Program’s (ACAP) Early Care and Education Program located in Caribou has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.
NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Megan Barnes, Program Director. She continued, “ACAP has been providing high quality early care and education services to the youngest residents of Aroostook County for 50 years. Attaining accreditation allows ACAP to showcase the high quality education services that are provided to families and children in the County; the accreditation process is an extensive process for staff to complete and we are so proud of the high quality work that is done to meet the needs of our families and children”.
To earn NAEYC Accreditation, ACAP went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.
In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 6,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.
“NAEYC-Accredited programs have committed to a process that takes time, energy and dedication to complete,” states Alissa Mwenelupembe, Senior Director Early Learning Program Accreditation. “ACAP has demonstrated their commitment to young children and their families.”
For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit the NAEYC website.