ECLS Student

HCC Early Childhood Lab School student Kayla Shinn of Bridgeport works on her “see, smell, touch” collage at the school.

An innovative college-affiliated pre-school in Bridgeport, Conn. has won national accreditation.

BRIDGEPORT - Housatonic Community College's Early Childhood Laboratory School has won accreditation from the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals.

The lab school received the accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), after an extensive self-study and site visits by an NAEYC assessor. The college is one of the few that have earned accreditation under rigorous new guidelines established last year.
'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,- said Heidi Szobota, program director. 'NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.- 'Our philosophy is based on the belief that each child is unique and deserves respect, consistency, and challenges for optimum growth and development and that strong partnerships with families are critical for a child's life-long success,- she said.

'The new NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for preschools, child care centers and other early childhood programs,- said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. 'The Early Childhood Laboratory School's NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that they are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and to help give all children a better start.- To earn NAEYC Accreditation in the new system, the Early Childhood Laboratory School went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten new 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 NAEYC program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

NAEYC's revised program standards and criteria have introduced a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.

The NAEYC Accreditation system was created in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs.

In the 20 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 11,000 programs, serving one million young children, are currently accredited by NAEYC - approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.

Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.