The pursuit of NAEYC Accreditation is a voluntary choice for programs. The Director may initiate this decision; it may be requested by a parent or governing board, by funders, and/or by requirement of a grant that the program has received. Regardless of who initiates the pursuit, a program that is considering accreditation is interested in quality.
Accreditation is more than just a set of criteria that a program meets. It is the spirit of a program. It is the intent to ensure that a child experiences the very best throughout the child's day and over time. It is important that programs considering accreditation understand that this is a system that is greater than the sum of its parts. Taken individually, each piece of the accreditation system identifies specific criteria that act as indicators of quality.
Quality early education is not a sterile process. It is worthwhile and a clear indicator for the community that a program is willing to focus its attention on the quality of experiences for young children. Thus, taken together, the accreditation system encompasses the spirit of a program — that invisible, indefinable something that is felt when one walks into a program where children come first and all decisions are made based on the question, "Is it Good for the Children?"