Early Childhood Education
Look for NAEYC Accredited Centers
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) administers the largest and most widely recognized accreditation system for all types of early childhood schools and child care centers.
Early childhood programs accredited by NAEYC have voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study, invited external professional review to verify compliance with the Criteria for High-Quality Early Childhood Programs, and been found to be substantial compliance with the criteria.
What is a high-quality early childhood program?
A high-quality early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. In accredited programs you should see:
frequent, positive, warm interactions among teachers and children
planned learning activities appropriate to children's age and development, such as reading stories, block building, painting, dress up, and active outdoor play
specially trained teachers and administrators
ongoing professional development
enough adults to respond to individual children
many varied age-appropriate materials
respect for cultural diversity
a healthy and safe environment for adults and children
nutritious meals and/or snacks
regular, two-way communication with families who are welcome visitors at all times
ongoing, systematic evaluation
Working Your Way Through the Childcare Maze
There are many local resources that can help you navigate Boulder County's Child Care Options. Qualistar created an easy-to-use pamphlet, complete with questions to ask prospective childcare providers, to help you navigate your local options: