The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs (NAC) is a national accreditation program that provides early childhood leaders the chance to show and document quality performance by using evidence-based practices and research-based criteria. The accreditation was created for early care and education programs that are used to promote both professionalism and quality in Child Care.
The process involves a self-study component and a validation visit and review by the National Accreditation Commission for the definitive accreditation decision.
NAC provides accreditation to Child Care Centers. Stand-alone School-Age programs and Family Child Care programs do not qualify for the NAC accreditation. For early Child Care and education programs that are applying for accreditation must be in compliance with state and local regulatory agencies. They also must meet the following guidelines:
- Programs must be in operation for at twelve continuous months at the time of the validation visit
- Programs are required to have a licensed capacity of at least 15 children and operate on a half or full-day basis
- The director of the program must hold this position for at least six months before submitting a request for an on-site visit
For the program to apply for accreditation each position must have the following educational requirements:
- A Director: The on-site administrator has a bachelor’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development or a related field with 12 college credits in early childhood education/child development. Also, six college credit hours in program management/business administration or nine continuing education unites in business and at least one-year experience in administration of a Child Care program, and a minimum of two years of experience in teaching in an early Child Care and education class.
- On-site Supervisor: An on-site supervisor could be an assistant director, a program coordinator, and any other staff that has supervisory/ and or mentor responsibilities. The Onsite Supervisory Staff is required to have an associate degree or higher in childhood development/childhood educator or a related field with 12 college credits in childhood development/childhood educator. In addition to a minimum of two years of experience in an early childhood education and care classroom.
- Lead Teachers: Most lead teachers will possess an associate degree or higher with 12 college credits in early childhood education/child development and at least two years of experience in teaching in an early childhood education and care classroom.
- Assistant Teacher: Most of the assistant teachers/teacher aides at a Child Care center have a CDA credential.
How The Accreditation Process Works
It’s a must that programs spend a minimum of six months in the self-study process. Self-study is a detailed self-assessment of every aspect of the program, which includes an administration review, classroom observation, staff and family surveys, and professional progress plans.
For more detailed information about the NAC Accreditation program please visit the site or call the NAC Accreditation at 1-800-537-1118.