The Hard Work Behind the Honor: NAEYC Accreditation

3 min
Jul 15, 2024
[caption id="attachment_7546" align="alignright" width="475"] Executive Director, Crystal Eickhoff, and Director of Education, Erin Tudhope of The Malvern School of Horsham[/caption] The Malvern School of Horsham was recently Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation�s largest early childhood accreditation organization; a highly valued recognition less than 10 percent of programs in the country achieve. In fact, The Malvern School of Horsham received some of the highest scores possible from the organization, not only deeming the school one of the top programs in the country, but raising the bar for early childhood education. If you�re familiar with The Malvern School, you may be familiar with the who, what, and why of NAEYC Accreditation, but have you ever thought of the how?  To help answer this question, we sat down with Erin Tudhope, Director of Education at The Malvern School of Horsham. Erin shared her own experience with the year-long preparation process to provide insight into the hard work, time, dedication, and high standard of programming that fuses together for this achievement.   What does it mean to be NAEYC Accredited? Erin: Following the criteria set by NAEYC means our teachers are held to the highest standards � from curriculum to health and safety, to their educational credentials. Being NAEYC-Accredited means we are providing the best experience for our families and children on a national level.   What is required during the Accreditation process? Erin: There are a couple of key components:
  • Each classroom works on an individualized portfolio that provides physical evidence of the criteria set by NAEYC, such as teaching approaches, child assessment, nutrition and health, etc. Each teacher must provide evidence of more than 50 criteria for their classroom.
  • The Directors and The Malvern School�s Early Childhood Education Specialist continue spending time in classrooms, giving feedback to teachers to continually enhance their approaches to learning, scheduling, and activities.
  • After almost a year of preparation, an assessor from NAEYC spends two days observing our classrooms and reviewing our classrooms� portfolios.
Three months later, we received our assessment score and official notice of Accreditation. We�re proud to say that The Malvern School of Horsham received a perfect score in over half of the categories evaluated and an average score of over 98 percent. It�s an incredible feeling to receive such high marks and to know that we�re the best of the best!   Does NAEYC Accreditation really make a difference? Erin: NAEYC-based curriculum is above and beyond what most schools can provide. Because we have held our school to these high standards since we opened, not much has changed upon receiving our Accreditation (besides the celebration, of course!). However, I have seen first-hand the differentiating factors of an Accredited program. Children seem to be more advanced in their learning. They�re not only experiencing everything hands-on but also learning why they are doing something as opposed to just being told to do it. I truly think it is the best environment for children to learn in.   What is something most parents don�t know about NAEYC Accreditation? Erin: NAEYC makes surprise visits and the schools must go through a re-accreditation process every five years. This ensures their standards are continually being upheld and that Accredited schools continue to provide the best learning environment possible.   What else is important for people to know? Erin: The Malvern School Executive Office provided us with great resources in order to make this all possible. It was a team effort and we�re so proud we can now say we are officially one of the top early childhood education programs in the country!