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Sources: Debra Ring, 785-532-3700, dring@k-state.edu;
and Nancy Bolsen, 785-565-8720, old@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.naeyc.org/academy
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Friday, Sept. 17, 2010

CENTER FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT EARNS NATIONAL ACCREDITATION

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Center for Child Development has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC -- the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals. Only 8 percent of all programs in the nation achieve the association's accreditation.

"We are very proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC," said Debra Ring, director of the child development center. "The center's teachers and administrators worked tirelessly on the accreditation process; this honor reflects their dedication and commitment to the highest professional standards in early childhood education."

The center serves families in the K-State, Manhattan and Fort Riley communities. It cares for children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age, and currently accommodates 160 kids. The center will have a new home in November, with the completion of the new early learning and educational facility that can serve 230 children. The program will expand to include additional infant and toddler classrooms, before- and after-school programs and a summer school-age camp program.

To earn accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Center for Child Development went through an extensive two-year self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the association's early childhood program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The program received accreditation after making the changes needed to meet all criteria, and then being assessed during an on-site, two-day visit by association assessors to ensure that the program meets standards. Programs are accredited for five years and can receive unannounced visits throughout that period.

In the 25 years since the association's accreditation program was established, it has become the widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Manhattan has only one other accredited child care center: Hoeflin Stone House Early Education Center, which also is on the K-State campus.

"NAEYC accreditation tells families in our community that children in our program receive the best care and early learning experiences possible," Ring said. "They can be assured that their child is in one of the highest-quality programs in the nation."

"The NAEYC accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs," said Jerlean E. Daniel, executive director of the association. "Having earned NAEYC accreditation is a sign that K-State Center for Child Development is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education."

Our current board president Nancy Bolsen and our past board president Renee Fehr continually encouraged us through the accreditation process," Ring said. "Our Parent Teacher Organization, led by Anya Martin, also has shown our staff amazing support. They kept us going, and I am thankful for their support."

The association's accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006 the association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. The association is committed to using the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest quality care and education possible.

The accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs.

More information on the association's accreditation is available at http://www.naeyc.org/academy.