W-M Kids’ Company Preschool earns national accreditation

Watertown-Mayer Kids’ Company Preschool is proud to announce that it has recently earned accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the leading organization for early childhood professionals.

With assistance from the Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children (MnAEYC), Kids’ Company completed a rigorous quality improvement process, was assessed to ensure that they met certain standards, and was ultimately accredited.

“This process takes a tremendous amount of time and dedication, but it’s clear that the process of becoming accredited benefits children, families, teachers, and programs,” Kids’ Company Coordinator Amy Dimmler said. “Choosing an early childhood program for children can be difficult for parents, and knowing that a program is accredited and therefore of the highest quality takes some of the stress away.”

Accreditation is a third party endorsement of a program’s ability to meet research-based quality standards. It includes parent and staff evaluations of the program, classroom observations, and program and classroom evaluation by an outside assessor from the accrediting body. It typically takes six to nine months to go through the process and can cost thousands of dollars. With generous support from the Greater Twin Cities United Way, MnAEYC is able to defray most of the costs of accreditation.

“We are grateful to the support we had from MnAEYC and the funding of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, as we went through this process,” Dimler said. “It took a lot of the fear and mystique out of it, and it’s no exaggeration to say we couldn’t have done it without their assistance. Our program is drastically different from where we were just a year ago. Identifying the areas to improve and then improving them has made a huge difference for the staff, the directors, and ultimately and most importantly the parents and the children who rely on Kids’ Company to meet their child care needs.”

MnAEYC is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to serve and act on behalf of early childhood (birth to age 8) care and education professionals in Minnesota by enhancing the quality of professional development opportunities, supporting program improvement and accreditation and advocating for public policy change in early childhood education.

For more information about Watertown-Mayer Preschool, contact Amy Dimmler at 952-955-0283 or amy.dimmler@wm.k12.mn.us

The NAEYC Accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs.  To earn NAEYC Accreditation, a program must meet each of the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

For more information about NAEYC Accreditation, visit www.naeyc.org/academy.

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