National Association for the Education of Young Children
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|Founded||1926 in Washington, D.C.|
|Carol Brunson Day, President|
|Members||Nearly 80,000  (2011)|
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a large nonprofit association in the United States representing early childhood education teachers, para-educators, center directors, trainers, college educators, families of young children, policy makers, and advocates. NAEYC is focused on improving the well-being of young children, with particular emphasis on the quality of educational and developmental services for children from birth through age 8.
In the 1920s, concern over the varying quality of emerging nursery school programs in the United States inspired Patty Smith Hill to gather prominent figures in the field to decide how to best ensure the existence of high-quality programs. Meeting in Washington, DC, the group negotiated the issue of a manual, called "Minimum Essentials for Nursery Education," that set out standards and methods of acceptable nursery schools. Three years later, the group cemented the existence of a professional association of nursery school experts named the National Association for Nursery Education (NANE). NANE changed its name to NAEYC in 1964.
The association has existed for over 80 years. Its holds two national early childhood conferences per year, the NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo and the NAEYC National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development. The NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo is the largest early childhood education conference in the world. The association publishes periodicals, books, professional development materials, and resources, all of which relate to the education of young children. The association is also active in public policy work. The association is well known for accrediting high-quality child care/preschool centers, and more than 10,000 centers, programs and schools have earned NAEYC Accreditation.
NAEYC accredits early childhood programs according to health, safety and education standards it first launched in 1985 and reinvented and released in September 2006. The new standards were intended to provide a more reliable and accountable accreditation system and to encourage the field of early childhood education to strive for a new level of excellence.
NAEYC also accredits academic degree programs for early childhood educators.
NAEYC has a structure of state and local Affiliates that are semi-autonomous but that are required to contribute part of the membership dues to the national organization. The Office of Affiliate Relations provides direct services to NAEYC State Affiliates, Local Affiliate Chapters, and Affiliate Alliances to support them in their efforts to build capacity and become high-performing, inclusive organizations.
NAEYC provides many different programs to assist professionals who work to educate young children. They are a leading publisher of educational resources, which include books, videos and posters that can assist in the teaching of young children. NAEYC also publishes two scholarly journals to help early childhood professionals and parents stay informed about the latest research on educating children age 0-8. These journals are Young Children and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. In 2007, NAEYC also developed Teaching Young Children, a magazine written for preschool teachers. The magazine provides useful, research-based ideas that teachers can use in their classrooms. Every year the NAEYC offers several conferences where participants can learn about and receive professional development in their field as well as focus on the improvements that have been made in the practices, policies and research.
NAEYC goes beyond publications, conferences and videos, and offers a program called “Supporting Teachers, Strengthening Families” that is designed to assist in the fight to prevent child abuse and promote healthy social and emotional development in young children. This program works by teaching the educators how to better communicate with the families of their students. Another important program sponsored by the NAEYC is the “Week of the Young Child”. This is a week-long promotion every spring that brings public awareness to the importance of early childhood development and education.
Policy and Advocacy
NAEYC encourages its supporters to be informed of current issues and legislation that affect the lives of young children. At the NAEYC Children's Champions Action Center, individuals can find information about the federal legislative process, learn how to contact members of Congress, and see the daily agenda for the House and the Senate.
NAEYC believes that our nation is at a crossroads. An integrated system of early childhood care and education that includes comprehensive approaches that directly involve families and communities in program design, implementation, and evaluation must be developed. NAEYC believes Americans can invest now in our children and families and enjoy long-term savings, with a more vibrant nation of healthy, achieving children and more stable families. Or, they can fail to make the investment and pay the price: increased delinquency, greater educational failures, lowered productivity, less economic competitiveness, and fewer adults prepared to be effective, loving parents to the next generation of children.
Federal, state and local government, communities, parents, and the private sector must share in the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of children and families.
Journals, Publications and Position Statements
The following periodic publications are released and sponsored by NAEYC:
Young Children is a peer reviewed journal published bi-monthly by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In this journal, issues are organized around topical clusters that devote special attention to issues in the field of early childhood education.
Teaching Young Children
Teaching Young Children is a magazine specifically designed for preschool teachers. It highlights current thinking on best practices in early childhood education, innovations in the field, research and its implications, and interesting ideas for and from preschool teachers. The articles and other features reinforce the accreditation criteria for the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards on Relationships and Teaching and encourage effective teaching in the preschool years.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Early Childhood Research Quarterly is a research journal that is published four times a year, and contains current research in early childhood.
In addition to these periodicals, NAEYC produces formal position statements from time to time to "state the Association's position on issues related to early childhood education practice, policy, and/or professional development for which there are controversial or critical opinions." These position statements are typically produced by NAEYC to include in-depth discussion of specific issues such as Early Learning Standards, Teacher Certification or Media Violence. In a few instances, NAEYC has issued position statements jointly with other authorities. A recent example is the 2012 position statement titled "Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8", produced jointly with the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College.
Presidents of the NAEYC Governing Board
|Evangeline H. Ward||1972–1974|
|D. Bruce Gardner||1974–1976|
|Barbara T. Bowman||1980–1982|
|Bettye M. Caldwell||1982–1984|
|Lilian G. Katz||1992–1994|
|Richard M. Clifford||1996–1998|
|Sharon Lynn Kagan||1998–1999|
|Kathy R. Thornburg||2000–2001|
|Josue Cruz, Jr.||2005–2006|
|Carol Brunson Day||2015–2017|
- NAEYC. Membership. Online July 2011. http://www.naeyc.org/membership
- NAEYC. About NAEYC. Online July 2011. http://www.naeyc.org/content/about-naeyc
- NAEYC. Conferences Overview. Online July 2011. http://www.naeyc.org/events>
- NAEYC. Accreditation.Online March 2009.http://www.naeyc.org/accreditation/
- "NAEYC Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation". NAEYC In 1985, NAEYC established its accreditation system to set professional standards for early childhood programs and to help families identify high-quality programs. NAEYC Accreditation is a voluntary system. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
Today, more than 7,000 NAEYC accredited early childhood education programs serve families around the nation.
- Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation - NAEYC
- "Promoting Quality through Accreditation". NAEYC. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
NAEYC has launched a new accreditation system to recognize high-quality Associate Degree Programs that prepare early childhood educators....NAEYC also recognizes high-quality Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs,...
- List of Affiliates
- NAEYC Children's Champions Action Center. http://capwiz.com/naeyc/home/
- "NAEYC Action Center". Capwiz.com. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "Publications | National Association for the Education of Young Children". NAEYC. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "National Association for the Education of Young Children | NAEYC YC | Young Children Journal". Naeyc.org. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "National Association for the Education of Young Children | NAEYC TYC | Teaching Young Children Magazine". Naeyc.org. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- "Early Childhood Research Quarterly | National Association for the Education of Young Children". NAEYC. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- NAEYC Position Statements and Standards. Retrieved 13 December 2015.