Why Accreditation Matters

Knowledge Beginnings is committed to providing only the best to children and their parents. That's why we ensure our centers meet the highest standards of child-care quality. Though accreditation is an involved and time-consuming process, we believe it offers important assurance to parents who are making one of the most important decisions in their children's lives. Accreditation is a mark of quality and helps parents find the best possible early childhood experience.

Programs that are accredited provide a safe and healthy environment for children, have teachers who are well trained, have access to excellent teaching materials, and work with curriculum that is appropriately challenging and developmentally sound. To maintain their accreditation, centers must voluntarily improve their offerings and adhere to high national child-care standards.

What's Involved

Accreditation is awarded by several national organizations (see below). Each accrediting organization requires adherence to a specific set of child development standards. Programs undergo in-depth self-assessments, independent observation, and approval by professional experts. In general, accreditation evaluates the center's staff qualifications, parent communication, interactions, curriculum, health and safety, and administration. It can take from 1-2 years to become fully accredited.

How Accreditation Differs from State Licensing


Each state sets its individual licensing requirements. The goal of licensing is to ensure a child's health, safety, and nutrition while in out-of-home care. Licensing laws provide a minimum standard of quality below which it is illegal to operate. Contact your state's child-care regulatory office for specific information.


A number of national child-care organizations have established quality standards that go beyond a state's minimum licensing requirements. When a center becomes accredited, it has voluntarily decided to meet high national quality standards and has made a commitment to provide the kind of care, attention, and stimulating activities that you and your children require.


The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) created an accreditation system more than 20 years ago to improve the quality of education and care provided in programs for young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for children. NAEYC awards accreditation only to high quality early childhood programs reviewed by a national commission comprising recognized experts in child-care and early childhood education. Accreditation is valid for five years. To learn more, visit the NAEYC Website.


The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs is a division of the Association for Early Learning Leaders. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of child-care in America by investing in the people who lead the programs. NAC accreditation identifies and acknowledges early care and education programs that meet a wide variety of professional and ethical standards. Accreditation is valid for three years. Visit the Association for Early Learning Leaders website for details.


The National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA), an independent and nationally recognized program, has been supporting educational programs that strive for excellence since 1993. The nonprofit organization encourages the availability of high quality early education programs for America's families. As a prerequisite to accreditation, it requires all centers to have possessed a state license in good standing for at least one year. Full accreditation is granted for three years with satisfactory annual reviews. To learn more, visit the NECPA Website.