Early Childhood Education

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

 

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest and most influential organization of early childhood educators in the world. NAEYC has approximately 100,000 members and a national network of nearly 350 local, state, and regional affiliates. Since 1926, NAEYC and its members have been leading and consolidating the efforts of individuals and groups working to achieve healthy development and constructive education for all young children.

NAEYC members include teachers and administrators in child care, preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, Head Start and other programs for young children. NAEYC members are also higher education faculty, trainers, state agency officials, parents, policymakers, and others committed to improving the quality of education for children from birth through eight years of age.

NAEYC leads efforts to raise the standards for early childhood education programs, and works with educators and programs around the country to help them achieve higher standards. The organization provides the following services aimed toward these goals:

• Early Childhood Program Accreditation—NAEYC established and operates a national voluntary accreditation system to raise the quality of early childhood education and help families and others identify high-quality programs. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, programs meet professional standards in areas such as staff qualifications, curriculum and child-to-teacher ratios. There are now more than 10,000 NAEYC-accredited programs, serving more than 900,000 young children and families. Families can search for NAEYC-accredited programs in their communities through the NAEYC Web site.

• Professional Development—NAEYC provides educators and early childhood professionals with the information and education services they need to help more children get a great start. The NAEYC Annual Conference draws more than 25,000 people from around the world for workshops and seminars on research, policy, and practices in early childhood education.

• Resources—NAEYC publishes Young Children, an award-winning journal for early childhood educators, as well as Early Childhood Research Quarterly. The association also produces books, videos, brochures, and other materials to bring the latest strategies and research to teachers, families, and others working to support the development and education of young children. Many NAEYC resources are available through the association’s Web site at, www.naeyc.org.

Further Readings: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (2001). NAEYC at 75: Reflections on the past, challenges for the future. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

Mark R. Ginsberg