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ASU’s Family Studies earns national acclaim

October 15, 2007

ASU’s Child Development and Family Studies Lab School has been granted accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a recognition achieved by less than 10 percent of early childhood programs nationwide.

The accreditation process involved a self-assessment that was completed by teachers, staff and families, submission of an extensive application and an accreditation site visit by NAEYC representatives.

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from the NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” says Cathy Kirk, director of the Child Development and Family Studies Lab School, located at ASU’s West campus.

“We are one of the first to achieve this recognition in the state of Arizona, and one of only 87 in the United States.”

NAEYC is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade.

To achieve NAEYC Accreditation, early childhood education programs volunteer to be measured against the most robust and rigorous national standards on education, health and safety.

“We were notified 24 hours before receiving a visit by a representative from the NAEYC,” Kirk says. “The validator spent several hours at the center observing classrooms, interviewing staff and parents, and reviewing paperwork. The results of the visit were sent to Washington, D.C., to determine if we met NAEYC’s 10 standards of excellence. We were required to meet with at least 80 percent accuracy. We met nine of the 10 with 100 percent compliance.”

The school, which has been open since 1991, has been accredited before. This new accreditation was achieved under the NAEYC’s new, more stringent measure of standards.

The accreditation is good for five years.

NAEYC-accredited programs invest in early childhood education because they believe in the benefits to children and families. Early childhood experiences – from birth to age 8 – have an enormous impact on children’s lifelong learning. Early childhood education programs with the mark of quality benefit children with greater readiness for – and success in – school.

The school, which cares for children ages 3 and older, is designed to enhance the social, emotional, cognitive, physical and creative development of each child. Children are encouraged to develop their abilities to make choices and decisions about what to do and how to do it, using their own time and energy effectively.

The child development lab is open to the public. Enrollment is limited, so parents interested in registering their child are encouraged to visit the Child Development and Family Studies Lab School’s Web site or call (602) 543-5437.