National Associaton for the Education of Young Children Associate Degree Standards
The NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation awards accreditation to associate degree programs that demonstrate evidence of meeting the Professional Preparation Standards. Accreditation provides a framework for self study, external evaluation and improvement in the quality of teacher preparation programs.
NAEYC Standard 1. Promoting Child Development and Learning
Early childhood professionals are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs and of the multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
Key elements of Standard 1
Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs
Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning
Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments
NAEYC Standard 2. Building Family and Community Relationships
Professionals prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
Key elements of Standard 2
Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
Involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning
NAEYC Standard 3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
Professionals prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
Key elements of Standard 3
Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child
Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues
NAEYC Standard 4. Using Developmentally Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families
Professionals prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Early childhood professionals know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
Key elements of Standard 4
Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with children
Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education
Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches
Reflecting on their own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child
NAEYC Standard 5. Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum
Professionals prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. They understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in an early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Early childhood professionals use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula that promote comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
Key elements of Standard 5
Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines
Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
Using their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.
NAEYC Standard 6. Becoming a Professional
Professionals prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
Key elements of Standard 6
Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines
Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice
Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession