Family Resource Center at Florida Gulf Coast University Receives National Accreditation
FORT MYERS, FL - The National Association for the Education of Young Children recently awarded accreditation to the Family Resource Center at Florida Gulf Coast University for its early childhood programs that meet national standards of excellence.
As of Feb. 1, only seven percent of all early childhood programs nationwide, about 8,176 serving 705,798 children, had achieved the prestigious recognition.
“This recognition is a direct result of the tireless effort and outstanding work by the teachers and staff at the center,” FRC director Elizabeth M. Elliott said.
The FRC, which serves 40 children ranging in age from six weeks to five years old, provides a place where a partnership between family and school creates an optimally safe, nurturing and diverse learning environment.
“The attitudes, beliefs and practices of the FRC serve to inspire others to provide for children in similar ways through creativity and action,” Elliott said.
NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous process. Early childhood programs, including child care centers, preschools, kindergartens, and before and after school programs are eligible to seek accreditation and must demonstrate that they meet national standards of excellence. Approximately 19,000 programs are engaged in seeking accreditation.
“The heart of NAEYC accreditation focuses on the child’s everyday experiences,” Elliott said. “The process carefully considers all aspects of the center’s program including health and safety, staffing, staff qualifications, and the physical environment. The greatest emphasis is on the children’s relationships with the staff and how the program helps children grow and learn intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.”
According to Elliott, research supports the value of accreditation for children. Children’s language and social skills especially benefit from the quality found in NAEYC accredited programs.
“These programs are critical areas for children’s success in school as well as in life,” Elliott said.
NAEYC is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of early childhood professionals dedicated to improvement of quality early childhood education. NAEYC established accreditation in response to the growing number of American children spending large amounts of time in group settings away from home, and the uneven and often inadequate consumer protection afforded by state licensing of child care facilities.
For more information about NAEYC or the accreditation process, contact the NAEYC at (202) 232-8777 or www.naeyc.org
For more information about the FGCU Family Resource Center, contact Elliott at (239) 590-7855 or www.fgcu.edu/frc