St. Mary’s Tufenkian Pre-School was recently granted accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This prestigious recognition has been achieved by approximately 7 percent of early childhood programs nationwide–some 6050 programs as of September 1998–serving 566,025 children. "It is an honor to be among the few schools in the Glendale area to be accredited by NAEYC," said Program Director Arsine Aghazarian.
NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous–voluntary process by which early childhood programs demonstrate that they met national standards of excellence. Child care centers–preschools–kindergartens–and before and after school programs are eligible to seek NAEYC accreditation. Approximately 13,000 programs are engaged in seeking accreditation.
Programs seeking accreditation undergo an intensive self-study–collecting information from parents–teachers–administrators–and classroom observations. They receive an on-site visit–conducted by early childhood professionals especially trained by NAEYC–to validate their self-study results. All of this information is independently reviewed by a team of national experts who grant or defer accreditation. When awarded–accreditation is valid for three years.
"The heart of NAEYC accreditation focuses on the child’s experience," said Aghazarian. The process carefully considers all aspects of a program including health and safety–staffing–staff qualifications–and physical environment. "The greatest emphasis is on the children’s relationships with the staff and how the program helps each child grow and learn intellectually–physically–socially–and emotionally."
According to Aghazarian–research supports the value of accreditation for children. Children’s language and social skills especially benefit from the better quality found in NAEYC-accredited programs. "These are critical areas for children’s success in school as well as in life," said Aghazarian.
NAEYC accreditation began in 1985–with the first program accredited in 1986. NAEYC is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of early childhood professionals dedicated to improvement of quality early childhood education. NAEYC established accreditation in response to the growing number of American children spending large amounts of time in group settings away from home–and the uneven–and often inadequate–consumer protection afforded by state licensing of child care facilities.
St. Mary’s Tufenkian Pre-School is located at 1200 E. Carlton Dr.–Glendale CA–91205 and serves 180 children ranging in age from 2 to 6. Tufenkian Pre-School offers a developmentally appropriate learning environment with emphasis in Armenian culture and heritage. St. Mary’s Tufenkian will now proudly display the NAEYC’s torch–the sign of NAEYC’s accreditation. Parents who look for the torch when choosing child care or early education programs for their children will find programs–which have made a commitment to excellence for young children and families.