Accreditation with a Christian component is integral to the success and effectiveness of Christian early learning education programs. Accreditation recognition will demonstrate yourrecognition as a program of excellence
commitment to excellence. The most popular reasons an organization seeks accreditation include:
attracting new clients
becoming eligible for participation in a state’s reimbursement program
providing professional development
raising staff morale and commitment
1 - USE ACCREDITATION MATERIALS AS A SELF-IMPROVEMENT TOOL
The process may seem overwhelming, but by focusing on one standard at a time, it is easier to establish specific goals and track improvement. Determine how the achievement of these goals will be recognized (verbal feedback, observations, documentation development, etc.) and identify who is responsible for the accomplishment. This not only simplifies the tasks, but also provides a productive team approach and ownership by staff.
2 - USE PARENT AND STAFF SURVEYS TO GAIN INFORMATION
By providing both parties to respond to a survey, you are able to see the difference in how each participant sees the process and the difference in their needs. A response that shows up repeatedly identifies an area where changes need to be considered and/or education needs to occur. Implement those ideas that are possible now. Identify those that can become long-range goals. Resurvey after making improvements and/or providing additional education, to determine improvement.
3 - THERE IS NOTHING “SECRET” ABOUT THE ACCREDITATION PROCESS
It is natural when entering any new endeavor, to have apprehensions. The process is a joint effort of parents, staff, and administrators to look realistically at a particular child care program. All participants must feel that their input is valued and administrators should communicate with staff and parents about changes that come about as a result of the surveys.The following are links to accreditation agencies recognized for quality. If you are considering APPLE and NAC, please request the faith-based version.
ACSI - Association of Christian Schools International
ACTS - Association of Christian Teachers and Schools
APPLE - Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment
NAC - National Accreditation Commission
UMAP- United Methodist Association of Preschools