NAEYC accreditation and high quality preschool curriculum
Early Education and Development
In 1999, the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) appointed a commission to review NAEYC accreditation. Among the commission's recommendations is the goal of making NAEYC accreditation the standard-bearer of program excellence. While NAEYC accreditation is often used to support a claim that a program provides high-quality early care and education, this is not always the case. Under current accreditation criteria, a program can obtain NAEYC accreditation yet fall short of meeting the NAEYC guidelines concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum. This article analyzes current accreditation guidelines concerning the curriculum and reports results of a recent evaluation of 116 NAEYC-accredited preschool classrooms. While the mean total ECERS-R score was 5.77, classrooms exhibited a wide range of scores from inadequate to excellent on 11 curriculum-related items. Thirty-four classrooms scored in the inadequate or minimal range (1-3) on at least one of the curriculum-related items, and 18 scored in this range on 4 or more of these items. Results are used to support the position that currently, NAEYC accreditation criteria do not adequately address the quality of the curriculum. Finally, the paper evaluates the draft accreditation criteria and makes recommendations concerning the future of NAEYC accreditation.
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Zan, Betty, "NAEYC accreditation and high quality preschool curriculum" (2005). Faculty Publications. 2995.