Early Childhood Education Center earns prestigious accreditation

Nov 7, 2010 | General News

The Early Childhood Education Center at Louisiana Tech University is one of only three centers in north Louisiana to have earned full accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), one of the nation’s premiere accrediting bodies for early childhood education programs.
The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), a pre-K learning laboratory school housed in the School of Human Ecology in Louisiana Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences, has maintained its NAEYC accreditation since the late 1980s.  The NAEYC’s intensive evaluation process includes a thorough portfolio review, unannounced classroom observations and a review of ten specific program elements.
The other two schools in north Louisiana to earn the NAEYC accreditation are located in Bossier City and Nachitoches.

Hands-on learning at Louisiana Tech's Early Childhood Education Center

“We are proud to have achieved this highest level of accreditation,” said Laura Chestnut, director of the ECEC.  “I believe that it demonstrates to parents our commitment to give their children the very best learning environment and opportunities.”
“This accreditation is like the ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.’  Parents who are knowledgeable about the NAEYC realize they are sending their child to a school that has evaluated its entire program and is committed to quality education of the whole child.”
According to Chestnut, the ECEC goes through the NAEYC’s extensive re-accreditation process every five years.  Centers seeking this accreditation must demonstrate that they meet certain eligibility requirements to even be accepted as an applicant.
The NAEYC will also randomly select accredited centers to receive “surprise” visits with no notification provided.  When the evaluator arrives, the school must again be able to produce key items to prove they are meeting the criteria for excellence.  If the criteria are not met and teaching is not up to standards, the school’s accreditation will be declared null and void.
Chestnut said that, this past September, one such “surprise” evaluator showed up on the doorstep of the ECEC.
“We passed with flying colors!  The evaluator was very thorough, but had nothing but great things to say about our teaching and documentation.”
“Under the direction of Mrs. Chestnut, the Early Childhood Education Center continues to be a model of creative excellence in the pedagogy of early childhood education,” said Dr. Amy Yates, director of Louisiana Tech’s School of Human Ecology.  “Our Family and Child Studies majors, as well as the College of Education’s Early Childhood Education majors, are able to benefit from hands-on experience at a center that has achieved state and national recognition.”
“The College of Applied and Natural Sciences’ continued commitment to the success of the ECEC exemplifies that Louisiana Tech’s dedication to academic excellence extends to even the littlest of Bulldogs.”
According to its website, the NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age eight.  The Association and its members are a leading voice for early childhood education to Congress and other federal entities, governors and state legislatures, state and local agencies, and other policy makers throughout the country.
“The administration and teaching staff of Louisiana Tech University’s Early Childhood Education Center are all to be congratulated for the continuing efforts to provide a high-quality early childhood program for young children and their families,” said Stephanie Olmore, director of program assessment and compliance for the NAEYC’s Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation.
The ECEC provides excellent learning experiences through the use of an innovative curriculum, well-trained staff, developmentally appropriate equipment and individual attention.  The Center demonstrates excellence by providing developmentally appropriate early education consistent with current research and practice, and providing opportunities for students in the Family, Infancy, and Early Childhood Education program to observe, interact with, and teach young children.