ACAP receives reaccreditation

10 years ago

ACAP receives reaccreditation

    PRESQUE ISLE — Aroostook County Action Program’s (ACAP) Child and Family Center at Park Street in Presque Isle was recently awarded accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for the second time. Originally accredited in 2008, the Park Street center applied for and was awarded reaccreditation in 2013, with higher marks than it achieved for its original accreditation.

    NAEYC accreditation is considered the “gold standard” for quality early childhood care and education. ACAP’s Park Street Child and Family Center is the only NAEYC accredited program north of Bangor.
    The Park Street site serves more than 80 children from age 6 weeks to 6 years and their families, providing Early Head Start, Head Start and child care in six classrooms. In order to achieve NAEYC accreditation, a program must meet over 400 criteria in 10 program areas. NAEYC criteria represent best practices in early childhood education and care in the areas of teaching, relationships, families, assessment, health, teachers, curriculum, community relationships, physical environment and leadership and management.
    To prepare for accreditation, the staff of each classroom creates a portfolio that contains evidence showing how the classroom meets NAEYC criteria in teaching, families, assessment and health and safety.  Program administrators also create a portfolio containing evidence to show how the program meets criteria in the areas of health and safety practices, ongoing assessment of children’s development, effective and frequent communication with families, developmentally appropriate curriculum, engaging learning environments, high level of staff education and training, playground safety standards and community involvement. In addition to the portfolios, staff review health and safety practices, ensure the building and playground meet safety standards, and collect input from staff and families through surveys.
    “Preparing for reaccreditation was an all-out team effort by staff and leadership,” said Debbie Kinney, center supervisor. “Everyone pulled together and the result shows their efforts.”
    In September 2013, an accreditation assessor visited the facility to review the portfolios, observe classrooms, and inspect the facility and playground. ACAP’s Park Street center received notice in October that it had achieved reaccreditation, having met 100 percent of criteria in eight of the 10 areas of programming, and over 90 percent in the other two areas.
    For more information, call ACAP at 764-3721 or log onto www.acap-me.org.