This post is sponsored by Kiddie Academy. We are thrilled to partner with businesses that bring value to St. Louis area families!
Physicians are board certified. Attorneys pass the bar exam. Primary and Secondary school teachers are certified. In early childhood education, the demonstration of these important credentials is NAEYC Accreditation. Kiddie Academy is among only ten percent of early learning programs in Missouri to have this accreditation.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest and most well-respected independent accrediting organization for preschool programs in the country. For more than twenty years, families nationwide have relied on the program to ensure the quality of education and care provided in programs for young children. While all childcare providers must meet state licensing requirements in order to operate, very few take the voluntary extra step to become an accredited early childhood education program. In fact, only 10% of preschool programs in Missouri have earned this designation, and we are proud to be among them.
We provide a high-quality preschool education that builds a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. NAEYC Accreditation correlates with children’s greater readiness and success in school, increased educational attainment rates, and overall healthier lifestyles. That’s why we pursued this extra certification –to inspire our team to always seek excellence and demonstrate to families that Kiddie Academy of St. Louis offers an outstanding early learning program.
Qualifying for Certification
NAEYC identified ten standards a school must meet in order to be certified based on input from experts, educators, and research. They include:
measurements of the school’s relationships
assessment of child progress
Achieving accreditation is a two-year process. During that time, each of our schools was reviewed to ensure they met the stringent NAEYC academic, social, and quality standards. Skilled program assessors also visited our schools to confirm that our schools demonstrate excellence in over 400 criteria. After the accreditation is initially awarded, schools are required to submit reports to the organization every year and meet new verification procedures, including unannounced visits, to maintain our accreditation.
Demonstrating Ongoing Excellence in the Classroom
A key requirement of the NAEYC evaluation is to provide a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development: cognitive, emotional, language, physical, and social. Kiddie Academy of St. Louis opened our first academy (years ago) to address exactly that need in our community, and we’ve remained committed to that goal as we’ve grown to three locations.
We use Kiddie Academy’s proprietary Life Essentials® developmentally appropriate curriculum and supporting programs, methods, activities, and techniques to prepare children for school and life. It’s designed to inspire children to explore and progress at their own pace. Our highly trained teachers help your child to grow socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Standard: Assessment of Child Progress
Ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessments that provide information on children’s learning and development are another key measure of a school’s eligibility for certification. This is another criterion that we easily met.
In fact, many families who are new to our Kiddie Academy are surprised to learn that we schedule Parent-Teacher conferences for all of our students. Yes, even infants.
Along with live streaming video access, daily reports, and pictures via Academy Link, we do these regular check-ins because we are much more than just a childcare provider. Our Kiddie Academy is a true early childhood education program. We use daily lesson plans and set goals for each child, and parent-teacher conferences are incredibly important for you to get a sense of their overall development, progress, and learning.
Standard: Community Relationships
Another evaluation standard relates to using the resources of the local community to benefit the program. We regularly invite performers, local artists, and representatives from local programs to share their interests and talents with the children. And enrichment programs focused on soccer, chess, cooking, and music are included in our program at no extra charge. Our classes also enjoy field trips to the St. Louis Zoo, the City Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center.
We also cherish our role as a member of the community, hosting special events like STEM Adventures and Storytime Live, and participating in charitable food drives and fundraisers to benefit our local families.
Growing and Learning Every Day
Our team is a passionate, dedicated group of lifelong learners. We are committed to continuously improving our programs to provide the best possible educational opportunities for children. That’s why we’re extremely proud of our academies for achieving certification from a respected, unbiased third-party organization that measures, reviews, and inspects everything we do.
The NAEYC certification, combined with Kiddie Academy’s high standards and state licensing agency requirements form the foundation of who we are as an organization. These three critical entities help us to continue to challenge ourselves to be even better every day.
Written by Elyce Cicotte, Director of Kiddie Academy of Des Peres.
Elyce has been with Kiddie Academy since 2016. She earned a bachelor of arts in elementary education, with an emphasis in special education and an associate degree in nutrition.