AdvancED Accreditation FAQFrequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when an early childhood education center receives accreditation?
Not many early learning centers seek accreditation and there are very few early childhood accreditation systems recognized by state boards of education. We realize it’s rare but we also realize it’s important that even pre-schools be held to higher performance standards during these incredibly formative childhood years. Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.
Who is AdvancED?
AdvancED is a non-profit community of education professionals that, through onsite reviews, interviews, and rigorous investigation, identify practicing schools that help all learners reach their full potential. The organization is based on over a century of experience but was created when the Pre-K-12 divisions of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) merged. It has now expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2012.
Why is this accreditation such a big deal?
The AdvancED commission’s goal is not to grant a one-time certification for great schools but instead, help its accredited schools strive for continuous improvement.
In order to earn and/or maintain AdvancED Accreditation, a school must:
- meet the Accreditation Standards, Policies, and Procedures of AdvancED;
- host an External Review Team at least once every five years;
- engage in continuous improvement;
- submit all required accreditation reports; and
- pay all required accreditation fees.
The revision and adoption of the Accreditation Policies and Procedures of AdvancED shall be the responsibility of the AdvancED Accreditation Commission with ratification from the AdvancED Board of Trustees.
– Excerpt from AdvancED’s policies and procedures document, which you can download from the organization’s website
Trust us… it’s a pretty big deal if we do say so ourselves!
Why is an early childhood education center worried about accreditation?
The time for children to build a strong sense of themselves in order for them to become their best self and reach their full potential is during their very formative pre-school years. Kids Harbor’s mission is to help our students reach their full potential by fully preparing them for success throughout elementary and high school.
You’ll see from AdvancED’s graph that early childhood centers have the lowest number of accreditations. It’s not that it doesn’t matter; it’s because many pre-schools don’t always see the value of high-quality standards at this stage in education and may not have the resources to achieve the standards AdvancED requires.
What does this mean for my child?
By enrolling your child in an accredited school, you’ll know he or she is getting the absolute best pre-school education by quality educators who constantly work to maintain and improve the quality of services your child receives. AdvancED encourages schools to build communities with parents, teachers, and staff for the strongest support a child can have. Our students excel academically as they pass through each stage at our school and they always receive the most current education backed by strategies from top research and current technology.
Will you charge more now that you’re an accredited school?
No, we will not change our tuition based on our accreditation status. Our goal is for our tuition to remain competitive in the market while providing a premium education for your children.
Does that mean all your other locations are accredited too?
Each of our locations must earn accreditation separately. Meaning, we all have to go through the same process… the full process. So, the Old Peachtree location is the first to complete the accreditation phase of the process. Our schools have been working on this simultaneously so we plan for each school to be recommended for accreditation very soon. Our Rosebud location should be reaching its final phase in November and Hamilton Mill, hopefully, in December. We’ll keep the parents informed as we have more information.