Accreditation is one possible indicator of a better-than-average center. Accreditation depends on a center's meeting specific goals regarding early childhood education, staff training, and development. Several professional organizations accredit childcare providers. One of the most well-known accrediting agencies is The National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
Accreditation identifies those centers that may offer something beyond a physically safe environment and go beyond the state's minimum requirements for licensure. The accreditation process often involves training, implementation, and a verification visit by the accrediting agency's staff. Requirements may include:
- A sufficient number of adults with training in early childhood development and education. Adult expectations vary appropriately for children of differing ages and interests.
- All areas of child development are stressed equally.
- The staff meets regularly to plan and evaluate the program.
- Parents are welcome to observe, discuss policies, make suggestions, and participate in the program.