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National Education Association Accredits Early Childhood Education Center

(Posted July 28, 2014)

The Early Childhood Education Center is staffed by professional teachers and also acts as a student teaching experience for Juniata students studying education.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Early Childhood Education Center has again earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals, for a five year-period valid through June 30, 2019.

"We're proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," says Christine Breene, director of the center. "NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our high-quality program have teachers who create engaging classrooms, enhance relationships with their parents and families, and develop rich experiences for their students."

Juniata's center was first accredited by the NAEYC in 2001. About 7,000 programs are accredited, which is roughly 8 percent of all preschools and early childhood education programs.

Juniata's Early Childhood Education Center serves as both a preschool for 40 children and a laboratory school for college students each semester. The center's curriculum gives children experience in math and logical reasoning, science, physical development, creative arts, social studies, social and emotional development, and language, literacy and communication.

The center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, is a PA Keystone STARS 4 facility, and is the only center in Huntingdon County that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The center's students range in age from 3 to age 5.

"NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our high-quality program have teachers who create engaging classrooms, enhance relationships with their parents and families, and develop rich experiences for their students."
Christine Breene, director, Early Childhood Education Center

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the Early Childhood Education Center went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the association's 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria.

The program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

The center offers programs Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There also is a full-day option from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday (children who attend all day pack their lunches). Parents can opt to have students attend from twice a week to five days a week.

In the 20 years since the NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high quality in early childhood education programs. More than 7,000 programs nationally are accredited by NAEYC. NAEYC created its accreditation program in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality child care and early education programs.

Criteria for high quality include all aspects of an early childhood program: interactions among staff and students, curriculum, staff and parent interactions, administration, staff qualifications and development, staffing patterns, physical environment, health and safety, nutrition and food service, and program evaluation.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.