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For Early Childhood Education

What Does NAEYC Accreditation Really Mean?

Being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s largest early childhood accrediting organization, is so much more than a logo on a banner or a call out in marketing materials. It’s a designation that’s hard-earned – one that represents a commitment to delivering a superior standard of quality education to children and their families. In fact, NAEYC accreditation is achieved by less than 10 percent of early childhood education centers in the country.

“Accreditation helps families recognize quality early learning programs and feel comfortable knowing that their children are receiving a high-quality, research-based education that will prepare them for future success,” states NAEYC.

Since our founding in 1998, The Malvern School curriculum has always been designed to meet or exceed NAEYC standards, and we are making every effort for all of The Malvern Schools to achieve NAEYC accreditation.

NAEYC Standards
So what does NAEYC accreditation look like on a practical level? Programs that are accredited must meet all 10 NAEYC standards:


  1. Relationships
    NAEYC-accredited programs must promote positive relationships for all children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth.

  2. Curriculum
    NAEYC-accredited programs must implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social.

  3. Teaching
    NAEYC-accredited programs must use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches.

  4. Assessment of child progress
    NAEYC-accredited programs must provide ongoing assessments of each child’s learning and development and communicate the child’s progress to the family.

  5. Health
    NAEYC-accredited programs must promote the nutrition and health of children and protect children and staff from illness and injury.

  6. Staff competencies, preparation and support
    NAEYC-accredited programs must employ and support a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse interests and needs.

  7. Families
    NAEYC-accredited programs must establish and maintain collaborative relationships with each child’s family.

  8. Community relations
    NAEYC-accredited programs must establish relationships with and use the resources of the community to support achievement of program goals.

  9. Physical environment
    NAEYC-accredited programs must provide a safe and healthy physical environment.

  10. Leadership and management
    NAEYC-accredited programs must implement strong personnel, fiscal, and program management policies so that all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences.

“NAEYC accreditation is a demanding progression that in the end, rewards the hard work of each school and validates the quality of the education we provide our families every day,” says Christle Seal, Director of Educational Programs at The Malvern School.

To learn more, explore the 10 NAEYC program standards and the four-step accreditation process on

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