What does accreditation mean?
It means the center has voluntarily gone through a rigorous assessment process that determines how well the center meets the requirements for quality early childhood education.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
NAEYC strives to raise the quality of education for all children from birth through age eight. Accreditation systems are a major part of NAEYC's efforts to improve early childhood education; they allow programs to provide the best learning experiences for young children and their educators by meeting national standards of quality. Our preschool is accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). This means we are providing your children the highest possible early childhood education available. The center must meet 10 standards and over 400 criteria to achieve accreditation. A major indicator of high quality is the teacher student interaction. The physical environment, curriculum, health and safety and administration are some of the other areas assessed.
Guiding Stars of Duval
The Early Learning Coalition of Duval created a voluntary quality improvement and rating system called Guiding Stars. This rating system was created 10 years ago to help parents locate quality child care and preschool centers and to encourage providers to train themselves to better prepare youngsters for kindergarten. Preschool and child-care providers have to improve because more is expected of children before they enter kindergarten than was expected 10 years ago. The UNF Preschool extends their learning and helps them to think and make decisions. Not only do they know their colors, letters, and shapes, they also excel in early reading and they grasp most literacy skills for their age; understanding the plots of stories, characters, beginning sounds and ending sounds of words, even hearing syllables. Social skills are a big part of being successful in school, we also teach them how to make decisions, take ownership of their actions and to be aware of others.
Guiding Stars of Duval has awarded our facility the highest score available of 5 stars. This is an affirmation of our hard work and dedication in providing children the highest standards and quality of education. Helping children be prepared for school, as well as providing a safe, healthy and happy environment is our top priority.
Gold Seal Quality Care Program
UNF Preschool is a Gold Seal Quality program. Licensing standards established using the Florida Statutes and the Florida Administrative Code are the "minimum" standards that a child care facility, family day care home or large family child care home must meet in order to be licensed or registered. Child care programs accredited by an accrediting agency approved to participate in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program meet additional standards promoting quality in their programs. The Department of Children and Families Child Care Program Office is responsible for approving accrediting agencies for participation in the Gold Seal Quality Care Program. To be approved, accrediting agencies must substantially meet or exceed standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission (NECPA), or the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). The Gold Seal Quality Care Program does not contain a set of independent standards; rather, it is a level of care that exceeds the minimum licensing standards by meeting the higher standards set by the accrediting agencies in statute. The DCF Child Care Program Office is tasked with ensuring that the accrediting agencies approved for participation are of sufficient variety to meet the needs of all child care providers (i.e., faith-based, school-age, Montessori, school-based, private, etc.). The DCF Child Care Program Office is also responsible for recognizing each program that meets these additional standards by issuing a Gold Seal certificate. The Gold Seal Quality Care Program is a voluntary program with potential benefits of participation including, but not limited to: a positive marketing tool for parents, sales tax exemption, VPK eligibility and an increased reimbursement rate for children participating in school readiness programs.