Program is among the first to complete new, more rigorous process
SPRINGFIELD – Cox Children's Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield is one of the first early childhood programs in the country to earn accreditation through a new system of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the leading organization of early childhood professionals.
"We're proud to have earned this mark of quality and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said center director Stacey Hembrough. "NAEYC accreditation lets families and others in the community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible."
Earning NAEYC accreditation is a voluntary process, and programs must reapply every five years to maintain their status.
Hembrough said that the first step involves an extensive self-study that measures a program and its services against 10 new NAEYC standards and more than 400 related criteria. An on-site assessment is also required. Cox Children's Center is one of just over 600 centers in the United States to earn full five-year accreditation.
Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children (aged birth to 8 years) and is committed to using the newest best practices to ensure that young children receive the highest-quality care and education possible.
Association executive director Dr. Mark Ginsberg noted, "The new system raises the bar for preschools, child care centers, and other early childhood programs. For Cox Children's Center, accreditation is a sign that they are a leader in the national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and to help give all children a better start."
Located on the UIS campus, Cox Children's Center serves children from 6 weeks through school age. More information is available at www.uis.edu/childcarecenter/, or contact Hembrough at 217/206-6610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.