Western Nevada College’s Child Development Center had plenty to celebrate this past week.
The CDC received a five-year reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) after a recent visit to the campus.
“I am so over-the-moon proud of my staff and their continued work to create an amazing program,” said Andrea Doran, director of the CDC. “My staff works very hard every day to maintain best practices, and it is an affirmation of their hard work to achieve reaccreditation.”
NAEYC sets high-level professional standards for early childhood care and education programs, providing parents with insight and reassurance as to which centers are best for their children.
Doran said the review and report provide the center with direction for the future.
“The report that we receive also provides us with good feedback on areas of improvement and that is a big part of what accreditation should be; it’s not a one-and-done sort of process,” she said.
“If taken seriously, it is a process that will help us continue to grow and get better.”
Doran said that during the reaccreditation visit, the surveyor required full disclosure of the center’s administrative framework to ensure that the proper policies and procedures are being followed.
During the visit, the center had to meet a long list of criteria at a high rate of competency.
“There are approximately 425 criteria that are randomly observed that need to be met at least 80 percent across the 10-program criteria.
There are five required criteria that have to be met at 100 percent,” Doran said. “The surveyor runs the number of classrooms — in our case seven classrooms — through a randomizing program and based on the random picks, observes 50 percent of the classrooms. They always observe the infant classroom, though, so for our visit, that equaled four out of the seven classrooms.”
The CDC’s accreditation is valid until Feb. 1, 2020, but it must provide an annual report regarding compliance with NAEYC’s standards. NAEYC also makes random, unannounced checks, which it did last year at the CDC.
“It’s nerve-wracking, but as long as we are truly following the prescribed best practices, it is fairly painless,” Doran said.
The reaccreditation letter the CDC received from the NAEYC read, in part: “The administration, teaching staff and families of Western Nevada College Child Development Center are all to be congratulated for continuing to uphold the mark of quality represented by the NAEYC Accreditation system.
On behalf of NAEYC, and specifically the NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation, I commend your program’s outstanding efforts in renewing NAEYC Accreditation.”
For information about the WNC Child Development Center, call 775-445-4262.