SIUE student Libby Linhares works with a class at the Early Childhood Center.

EDWARDSVILLE - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Early Childhood Center (ECC) has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) — the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

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NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high quality early learning environments.

“We are proud to have earned the NAEYC’s mark of quality and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Early Childhood Center Director Becky Dabbs MacLean.

The ECC provides full-day, year round early childhood care and education for the children of students, faculty, staff, and others in the University community, ages two through five.

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To earn NAEYC accreditation, the ECC completed an extensive self-study and quality improvement process, followed by an onsite visit by NAEYC assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

In the 30 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC - less than 10 percent of all childcare centers, preschools and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

“NAEYC accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, NAEYC senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation. “Earning NAEYC accreditation makes the SIUE Early Childhood Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

For more information about NAEYC accreditation, visit naeyc.org.

The ECC is located at 795 Northwest University Dr., on the corner of Circle Dr. and Northwest University Dr. The Rec-Plex is located across the street from the ECC. Contact the ECC at 618-650-2556.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

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