The YMCA of Marquette County has earned national accreditation for the Vandenboom Early Childhood and Preschool Program. The program is among the top in the nation by earning accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.
YMCA board president, Robert Lion said, “Two years ago it was a vision of the YMCA and Marquette Area Public Schools to create a high quality early childhood program in our community, and today we received word of this achievement. Without the support of MAPS and the vision of their Board this wonderful partnership would not be in place to provide quality early childhood education. I truly feel that this raises the bar for the level and quality of early childhood education in Marquette , as well as further aligns Marquette County with forthcoming early childhood initiatives and policies coming out of Lansing , Michigan .”
“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Lisa Coombs-Gerou, CEO, YMCA of Marquette County. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.”
To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the YMCA Vandenboom Program went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the Program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria.
The Program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors in early September. The YMCA’s Program scored 100% on six of the ten criteria. Lori Smolinski, Vandenboom’s Director, said, “We are excited to have completed this process and I am proud of the work that the staff has done to earn this mark of quality. This is a significant honor and we are proud to offer such a high quality early childhood program in our community.”
In the 25 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are accredited by NAEYC, in Michigan only 4 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs are accredited. The Y’s program is one of only two programs accredited in the Upper Peninsula .
“The NAEYC Accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, Ph.D, executive director of NAEYC. “Having earned NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that the YMCA’s Vandenboom Program is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education.”
The NAEYC Accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in child care programs. The new standards reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.