Child Care Associates, the lead agency advising Tarrant County officials on child care for essential workers and child care provider support during COVID-19, has announced its commitment to achieving national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for its early education campuses within three years.
In Texas, of the 14,796 licensed child care settings, only 317, or less than 2% , have achieved NAEYC national accreditation standards. NAEYC is the nation’s largest and most-widely respected accreditation in early childhood quality practices.
“NAEYC Accreditation has been a benchmark of high-quality early childhood experiences for more than 30-years in Texas and we are so excited to have Child Care Associates commit to this level of quality,” Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TXAEYC) Executive Director Kim Kofron, M.Ed., said in a news release from Child Care Associates.
“Now more than ever, young children need to be not only in a safe and healthy environment, but surrounded by environments enriched with learning experiences that will help them grow and develop to their fullest potential with educated teachers leading the way,” Kofron said.
According to leaders in the child care industry, COVID-19 has raised the profile of need for ensuring early education settings are high-quality with appropriate square footage, highly qualified staff and health/safety standards at the highest levels. While there are other organizations that offer accreditation for programs serving young children in the field of early childhood education, NAEYC remains the gold standard for programs serving children birth to 5-years of age.
“At CCA, we put children first – always. COVID-19 has helped us realize our need to be steadfast on our longstanding commitment to quality education for young children,” said Child Care Associates CEO Kara Waddell.
“While we have always worked to attain standards higher than what child care licensing requires (including Head Start and Texas Rising Star standards), we are formalizing our commitment to the families we serve with this national accreditation. Families of all income levels value and expect more than ever before including a commitment to safety, health practices and the highest standards of child-centered learning,” Waddell said.
As the lead agency advising Tarrant County officials on child care for essential workers during COVID-19, early on Child Care Associates collaborated with its data and technology partners to create FIND!, an online platform that allows remote users to update child care status at local child care agencies.
The agency also launched financial support services for essential workers that allows essential workers to apply to offset 100 percent of child care costs via Child Care Associates’ Child Care Management Services program.
Waddell serves on Governor Abbott’s Texas Frontline Child Care Task Force and leads a subgroup of the National Emergency Child Care Task Force with Save the Children.
For enrolling your child in a CCA campus, please visit: https://childcareassociates.org/head-start-early-head-start
For enrolling to receive CCMS child care subsidy assistance, please visit: https://tarrantcountyccms.org/home/parents
For more information about CCA: https://childcareassociates.org
– FWBP Staff