The Southeastern Indiana YMCA Learning Center recently earned another five-year term of National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation by successfully completing the renewal process. It is a process that takes a year to prepare for, culminating in a two-day visit by a NAEYC representative, according to Kathleen Bohman, YMCA community outreach coordinator.
“I am so proud of our staff,” said Jenny Salyer, learning center child care director. “We scored 100 percent or higher in nine of the 10 standards that NAEYC scores us on. And our teachers earned 96 percent or higher on the visits in their classrooms. The NAEYC representative takes a random sampling of classrooms to visit, so the teachers are not aware ahead of time if they will be observed or not,” she revealed.
The learning center is the only child care center in Ripley, Franklin and Decatur counties to have this accreditation. It represents a measure of quality many families look for when choosing an early education for their children.
In order to achieve the accreditation, child care providers must meet 10 program standards, with specific criteria attached to each. The framework of the standards and criteria focus on best practices in the field and the benefits to stakeholders in early childhood education. There are four groups of early childhood education stakeholders: children, teachers, family and community partners, and the program administration. The goal of NAEYC Accreditation is to ensure the quality of children’s daily experience in early childhood programs and promote positive outcomes for children from birth through kindergarten.
To assist with this process, Salyer enlisted the help of the Indiana Association of Young Children and IAEYC quality advisor Jackie Bond. “Jackie had many ideas to improve the classroom set up and enhance learning areas. Most of the ideas were low-cost suggestions which were so helpful with budget restrictions. Jackie has been one of our biggest cheerleaders, and I have enjoyed learning from her,” Salyer noted.