for Early Care and Education Programs
An Accreditation Program Committed to Excellence
The Association for Early Learning Leaders’ National Accreditation Commission offers early care and education programs the opportunity to demonstrate and document quality performance using research-based criteria. The system recognizes the diversity of programs and the uniqueness of each through the self-study and award process.
- Developed for early care and education professionals by early care and education professionals.
- Promotes professionalism and program quality.
- Comprehensive performance standards and evaluation for all program components: Administration, Curriculum, Interactions between Staff and Children, Parent Communication, and Health and Safety.
- Fully operational in centers across the nation.
- Respects individual program autonomy and philosophy.
- Included in government-funded quality enhancement initiatives.
Association support and resources will guide you to success and allow you to gain national recognition for program excellence. The process is designed to be easy-to-understand and achievable.
1. Self Study
Administrators, staff, and parents evaluate the program in accordance with Accreditation Standards, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. The program rates the standards when improvements are made and standards are fully met.
Trained Validators conduct onsite observations and verify information provided by the program, parents, and staff surveys. The Validator’s responsibility is to report to the Commission what is observed in the program on the day of the validation visit. The validator will observe at least 75% of the classrooms, check required documents, interview staff as needed, and meet with the onsite Director for an Exit Interview.
3. Commission Review
Accreditation decisions are made under the guidance of the Commission. Decisions are based on careful study of the materials submitted by the validator, which includes director comments obtained during the Exit Interview. A decision to award, defer, or deny accreditation is made in approximately twelve weeks from the date of the Validation Visit.
Self-study Enrollment Form
Accreditation Fee Schedule