Early Childhood Education Standards for Preschools
Are you on the hunt for quality child care and education? Find out what a good preschool should look like.
What You Need To Know
You are your child’s first teacher and well before the elementary school bell rings there are many avenues of learning for your preschooler to experience. Those early years in a child’s life are a crucial development period, so whether they stay at home with a parent or go to preschool or day-care there are some things to consider.
- Experts say children that are nurtured and stimulated are more prepared for reading, math and socializing.
- Standards are getting higher for preschools and child care facilities as more families are enrolling kids due to both parents working full-time.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has approved new Early Childhood Program Standards that outline what NAEYC believes every child care, preschool and other early childhood education programs should provide.
How You Can Help
To earn NAEYC accreditation, programs must meet national performance standards of quality that go beyond most state health and safety licensing requirements. The following guidelines can help you identify high-quality early care and education programs for your young children.
- Preschool should focus on children – Watch to see that children interact with other children and adults. Ask about curriculum.
- Preschool should have qualified staff – Ask what degree and training the teachers have and how long some of teachers have been on staff.
- Preschool should build relationships with families – Ask how information is communicated between staff and families.
- Check that the program’s policies allow for families to visit.
- Preschool should be well run – licensed by the state and well maintained both indoors and out.
- Ask about the child-to-teacher ratio to see how much attention your child will get. One adult for every 4 children is a good standard.
Evaluating a program based on these standards will help you choose a high-quality program that you can your child can be happy with.
To find a NAEYC-accredited child care or preschool program in your area, click on "Accredited Program Search" on the NAEYC Website at www.naeyc.org.
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