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What does NAEYC Accreditation mean?
On a shaded playground, with towering oak trees, children stand before easels with cups of orange, green, brown, and yellow paints in many shades. They have just listened to Ms. Ashley read a story called Leaf Man by Lois Elhert. After listening to the story, they looked at several pages together and noticed the way that the author and illustrator used fall colors to create a story.
Now, the children stand before easels, under amazing oak trees, with the wind moving through the branches, prepared to use fall colors to create their own stories.
Some will simply explore the colors and how to fill the paper with patches of color, superimposing yellow and orange to discover the shades of color that emerge.
Other children will start with a story in mind and use the paint to represent their story, adding details as they go, exclaiming in delight as their paintings unfold.
Many of the children will also create verbal stories to accompany their paintings. For our youngest artists, Ms. Ashley will write down the story, word for word, and she will support and encourage our older children as they write words and sentences to create a written story to accompany their painting.
This fall easel painting beneath the oak trees is a tradition at our school, and each year all the classes explore this activity with delight.
Easel Painting on the Playground
Which, of course, brings us to our question … What does NAEYC accreditation mean to an early childhood program?
“NAEYC is quite simply the mark of excellence in early childhood programs,” explains the owner, Cindy McConnell. “At First Discoveries, our goal is to create rich learning experiences every day that encourage children to develop creativity, problem-solving and persistence. We know that children learn best when they are challenged and excited about learning experiences.”
"For us, being accredited means that we are nurturing children through amazing learning experiences," Ms. Cindy continues. "I am especially proud of our teachers' scores on Curriculum and Teaching Practices as it demonstrates our commitment to creating rich opportunities that really allow children to explore both problem-solving and creativity. Our teachers love to set up these experiences and then observe the children as they work, providing extra support and offering extra challenges so that every child is learning and growing every day."
Our fall painting experience is just one example of the incredible learning activities that happen at our school every day. As we observe the children working intently beneath the towering oak tree, we know that accreditation through NAEYC validates what we know about our program: A lifetime of learning truly begins with a child's First Discoveries!"
First Discoveries Academy earned the distinction of NAEYC Accreditation in October 2018.
Nationally, only 10% of early childhood
programs have met the rigorous standards
set forth by NAEYC and achieved this honor.