Director Ellie Justice announced today that the Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC) has once again achieved accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) through 2016. HGCDC was the first early childhood program in Oregon to be accredited in 1986.
“National accreditation affirms the quality of our child care program and advances our leadership in the field of early childhood education,” says GSE Dean Randy Hitz, who credits Director Justice for her leadership on the project.
NAEYC accreditation is a nationally recognized standard of quality that has been offered since 1985 as a means to help parents identify high-quality programs, and provide early childhood centers with benchmarks and means of assessment. Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.
HGCDC program staff spent 18 months in self-study and in preparing portfolio documentation to show how the program meets the 400 criteria in 10 standard areas assessed by NAEYC. The standard areas focus on: advancement of children’s learning and development; qualifications, knowledge and commitment of teachers and staff; partnerships with the community; and the quality of the physical environment; and the leadership of the administration.
The nationally recognized HGCDC is PSU’s primary early childhood facility and currently serves 200 children, birth through kindergarten. It is part of the Graduate School of Education’s Child Development and Family Services group that provides support to PSU student parents and their children.
Achieving and maintaining accreditation is a key factor in continuing quality programs in the GSE and is critical for accessing resources needed to support and expand programs. With recent grants from the federal government, the HGCDC has been able to add child care spaces on campus, provide additional staff development for the early childhood teachers, and increase child care subsidizes for student families. A recently completed feasibility study funded by the Student Building Fee Committee is a positive step toward expanding campus service facilities to better meet the growth in numbers of student parents on PSU campus.
Related article – the CCAMPIS grant.