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October 13, 2008
By Claudene Wharton
The Child and Family Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno has achieved accreditation status under the new, more rigorous standards recently adopted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Washington, D.C.
According to the association, only about 8 percent of preschools and early childhood programs in the country currently meet its accreditation standards. Accredited programs must meet at least 80 percent of the criteria set forth by the association in 10 areas. The Child and Family Research Center passed the stringent test, meeting 100 percent of the criteria in six of the 10 categories, more than 90 percent in three of the categories, and 84 percent in one category.
“We are very pleased that we have been accredited under the new, more stringent standards,” said Sherry Waugh, the center’s director. “We were the first center in Nevada to be accredited back in the late ’80s, so it was very important to us that we also achieve accreditation under these new standards that demand even more of early childhood programs.”
The association accredits programs for a five-year period.
“The new NAEYC accreditation system raises the bar for preschools and early childhood programs,” said Mark Ginsberg, the association’s executive director. “The accreditation of the University of Nevada’s Child and Family Research Center is a sign that it is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality, early childhood education.”
The center provides care and education weekdays for about 200 children on campus, ranging from infants to kindergartners. However, Waugh points out that the purpose of the center is threefold.
“Besides the care and education we provide to the children, we provide training opportunities to University students who are going to work in early childhood education or work with children in other professions,” she said. “And, we provide research opportunities for graduate students and others. For example, research has been conducted at the center on what types of activities help children develop literacy skills during the preschool years.”
“We really help fulfill the three missions of this University — teaching, research, and outreach to the community and state.”