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July 6, 2016

Educare DC earns national NAEYC accreditation

Program among the top in the nation by earning accreditation

Washington, DC (July 6, 2016) – Educare Washington, DC has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

"We're very proud to have earned this mark of quality from NAEYC, which is the gold standard of early childhood education in our country," said Pyper Davis, executive director of Educare DC. "This accreditation confirms what our families already know: their children benefit from the small class sizes, high-quality teaching practices, strong emotional support, and rich curricula at Educare DC. NAEYC accreditation reinforces Educare DC's position as a beacon of early childhood education for the DC community."

Educare DC incorporates the latest scientific research and best practices in early education to substantially narrow – or even eliminate – the achievement gap. Well-trained and prepared teachers work with children and their parents to develop school readiness skills, including pre-literacy, early math, and social-emotional skills. To further support children’s success, Educare DC prioritizes parental and family involvement, recognizing that parents are essential in sustaining their child’s learning and in advocating for high-quality education for their child throughout the K-12 system.

Located in Ward 7, Educare DC develops and implements best practices to improve outcomes for children at risk of school failure. Educare DC also works to build partnerships with other early childhood leaders to share program innovations and help to raise the quality of services for other young children living in poverty in the District. Ninety percent of the infants and toddlers who live in Wards 7 and 8 surrounding Educare DC live in poverty, compared to 33% nationally.

National research shows that when children leave Educare, they are academically, socially, and emotionally prepared for kindergarten. Kindergartners who spend their early years at Educare arrive at elementary school ready to learn. Furthermore, students, on average, retain the skills they gained at Educare, as shown by two studies tracking students’ progress into elementary school.

To earn NAEYC accreditation, Educare DC went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. After an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors, Educare DC received 100% or more on every program standard and an average of 97% on classroom observations, when 80% and 70% are the respective scores required to pass.

"It's a lengthy and rigorous process to achieve NAEYC accreditation, and Educare DC 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, Educare DC's 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.

The NAEYC accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers, and other early education programs. To earn NAEYC accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period. 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.

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About Educare Washington, DC
Educare Washington, DC, is a full-day, full-year early education school that helps young, at-risk children develop the skills necessary for success in kindergarten and in life. Educare DC serves 157 children ages six weeks to five years and their families. Opened in July 2012, the school is part of a national network of 21 high-quality, research-based, early childhood schools. Educare DC is also an Early Head Start and Head Start program and the early childhood anchor program within the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative.

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