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Accreditation Administration Standards

These standards are to be used as orientation to the Accreditation Process. All standards are in the Accreditation Manual with indicators that serve as evidence the standard is met.Programs considering pursuing accreditation through the National Accreditation Commission should enroll in Self-Study.

A1. The program has a written mission statement, philosophy, and goals that reflect the program’s beliefs about how children learn, describes the environment, and includes specific overall goals for children.

A2. The program’s administration complies with non-discrimination laws covering hiring of staff, enrollment of children, and termination of staff and children.

A3. The Program maintains confidential, up-to date written records for each employee.

A4. A written orientation plan is implemented with each new employee.

A5. The program has written personnel policies that state the conditions and expectations of employment and inform employees of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges.

A6. The program has written operating procedures that provide employees with detailed instructions for carrying out specific tasks related to their work.

A7. Benefits are made available to program staff.

A8. Director Qualifications

A9. Staff Qualifications

A10. Annual training is required.

A11. Each employee’s job performance is evaluated.

A12. A written annual plan for professional development is prepared for each employee.

A13. The director and/or mentors are available to teaching staff on a daily basis to provide strategies and support in dealing with classroom situations and interactions with families.

A14. Administration has methods for communicating important information to staff on a regular basis.

A15. The director and staff meet together as a group for training, program planning, and goal setting.

A16. Staff have opportunities to influence the program.

A17. If staff members under the age of 18 work with children, they are always under direct adult supervision and not counted in the staff-child ratio.

A18. Volunteers (unpaid persons who work with children) are always under direct supervision, not counted in the staff-child ratio, and are oriented on program policies and procedures.

A19. Insurance is maintained on all aspects of the program.

A20. A fiscal plan is followed, monitored, and reviewed. 

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Beginning 6/1/2020, the National Accreditation Commission will resume conducting validation visits. The Accreditation Office will work with individual programs to determine the impact of local restrictions on a potential visit. The safety of program families and staff and National Accreditation Commission validators is of the utmost importance and at the heart of all decisions made during the ongoing public health crisis. Please direct any questions and concerns to Erin Schmidt, Director of Accreditation, at [email protected]. Please monitor this website for further developments and updates. From the Accreditation Team to your team, stay safe and be well.


The AELL Board of Directors met and made a unanimous decision to transition our 2020 conference to a virtual event for the safety and well-being of our participants, our staff, and our volunteers. This was not an easy decision, and tears were shed. This event has become a “reunion” each year as old friends and new come together to connect in meaningful and powerful ways.  Please know that our hearts hurt with yours that we won’t be together in-person this year.  We are saving hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps for Orlando 2021!

For details and additional information about the 36th Annual National Conference, please visit our Conference page.


For access to our free COVID-19 related webinars and downloadable resources, please visit our Upcoming Webinars page.