SCC’s Child Development Center earns national accreditation

Southeast Community College’s Child Development Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

NAEYC is the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. A site visit to the Center was conducted in February.

SCC’s Center is located on the Lincoln Campus. Kari Schell, director, said the credential is important, not only to center staff, but to parents who entrust their children to the facility for care.

“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,” Schell said. “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.”

The Center’s mission is to provide quality care and early education to children from 6 weeks to 6 years and to meet the needs of SCC students, staff and the community. The Center also serves as a training site for SCC’s Early Childhood Education program, along with a variety of other programs.

“We are committed to creating an environment for children to develop independently, physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually under the guidance of trained personnel and students,” Schell said. “We seek to build a strong partnership between school and home to ensure the best possible atmosphere for the children.”

To earn NAEYC accreditation, the Center went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the 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 10 program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs also are subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

In the 25 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Nearly 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC, approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.

“It’s a lengthy and rigorous process to achieve NAEYC accreditation, and Southeast Community College’s Child Development Center should be commended for seeking high standards,” said Rhian Evans Allvin, executive director of NAEYC. “Caring for children is not rocket science, it’s brain science. Studies prove that the brain connections made in the first few years of life set a child’s path for success in school and in life. That’s why quality educators are so crucial. For parents and caregivers of young children who are searching for a high-quality early learning experience, SCC’s Child Development Center NAEYC accreditation is a sign that it offers a high-quality education in a nurturing and stimulating environment.”

The NAEYC accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to using the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.

Persons interested in more information about the Center are asked to contact Schell at 402-437-2450 or kschell@southeast.edu.

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For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing
402-323-3401
sosterthun@southeast.edu