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Niantic Community Church Children's Center Obtains NAEYC Accreditation

Niantic, CT, August 26, 2011 --( Niantic Community Church Children’s Center is celebrating something that few early childhood programs ever do. It has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. Less than ten percent of all early childhood programs receive this accreditation according to NAEYC, making NCCC among the top in the nation.

The process began two and a half years ago when center director Kathy Tiller pursued an Accreditation Facilitation Project grant through Connecticut Charts-a-Course, an early childhood professional development system and registry. The program enabled the staff of NCCCC to complete their child development associate credentials. Tiller who already held a Bachelor of Arts in art education from Castleton State College in Vermont, pursued another 15 credits in early childhood education. That was the beginning of a lengthy process to meet a plethora of NAEYC criteria that would set them apart.

Tiller was impressed with her staff that spent their personal time two nights a week and one Saturday a month for nearly a year, completing their CDA, and now all full time staff at the center have it. Michelle Pearson from LEARN Regional Educational Service Center in Old Lyme was a great support and resource throughout the NAEYC accreditation process according to Tiller.

“I am most proud of how far we’ve come, how much we’ve learned and changed, and how much the quality of our program has improved,” said Tiller.

"At NCC, few of us knew what accreditation required. We learned, as Kathy Tiller led the staff of the Children's Center through the process: accreditation by NAEYC demands hard work, consistency, attention to detail, and meeting stringent standards to assure the well-being of the children,” said Pastor John Nelson. “We have long been impressed by both the skill and caring of the Children's Center staff and board -- but our appreciation for their work has certainly increased. I believe that the church should always be striving for excellence, and am delighted that this program is getting the professional recognition it deserves."

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, NCCCC went through an extensive self-study process, making sure it met 10 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 last month. The center is also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

The small family oriented center opened in 1983 with a mission to serve the community. It’s NAEYC accreditation today recognizes the high quality of early childhood education offered by the program and celebrates the hard work and commitment of all staff.

“Having earned NAEYC Accreditation is a sign that NCCCC is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education,” said NAEYC executive director, Jerlean E. Daniel.

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Niantic Community Church
Patty Chaffee

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