The Star-Herald

ACAP’s Early Care and Education Center earns National NAEYC Accreditation

CARIBOU, Maine — Aroostook County Action Program’s Early Care and Education Program located in Caribou has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children — the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments.

“We’re proud to have  earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Megan Barnes, program director. She continued, “ACAP has been providing high quality early care and education services to the youngest residents of Aroostook County for 50 years. Attaining accreditation allows ACAP to showcase the high quality education services that are provided to families and children in the County; the accreditation process is an extensive process for staff to complete and we are so proud of the high quality work that is done to meet the needs of our families and children.”

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, ACAP went through an extensive self-study and quality improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure  that the program met each of the 10 program standards, and hundreds of corresponding  individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized  sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 6,000 programs are currently  accredited by NAEYC — less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and  kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.  

“NAEYC-Accredited programs have committed to a process that takes time, energy and  dedication to complete,” states Alissa Mwenelupembe, senior director Early Learning Program  Accreditation. “ACAP has demonstrated their commitment to young children and their families.” 

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit the NAEYC website.

Celebrating 50 years of service to the people of northern Maine in 2022, Aroostook County  Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help  individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership  with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human  needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and  workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new  clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more  about available services, contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.

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