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NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COMMISSION PROCESS

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION COMMISSION PROCESS

How Our Accreditation Process Works

Programs are required to spend a minimum of 6 months in the self-study process. Self-study is an in-depth self-assessment of all aspects of the program, including administrative review, classroom observation, staff and family surveys and professional development plans.

Overview

Programs are required to spend a minimum of 6 months in the self-study process. Self-study is an in-depth self-assessment of all aspects of the program, including administrative review, classroom observation, staff and family surveys and professional development plans.

Self-Study

During the Self-Study phase, parents, staff, and administrators evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the program as they apply to Standards of the National Accreditation Commission. The program’s administrative procedures are reviewed using the Administrator’s Report, and classroom practices are assessed using the Classroom Observation. Parent and staff surveys are conducted, the Formal Education and Ongoing Training Log is compiled, and supporting documentation is gathered and organized as required in the Document Organization. After critical self-examination of procedures and practices, the program makes improvements. The program has a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years to complete the Self-Study and to request an onsite visit. Upon enrollment, programs receive an Accreditation Manual which they will use throughout the Self-Study and the first two years of accreditation.

Validation Visit

Programs request a validation visit only when satisfied that improvements have been made and Commission Standards are met. Certain requirements must be met and documents submitted to be considered for a visit. During the visit, the validator(s) will review documents, sample children and staff files and verify parent and staff surveys in order to confirm the program’s ratings as reported in the final copy of the Administrator’s Report. The validator(s) will make observations in classrooms to verify the ratings of individual classrooms as recorded in the final copies of the Classroom Observation. After completion of these tasks, the validator will conduct an Exit Interview with the director. During this time, each standard and/or indicator found to be without sufficient supporting evidence will be reviewed and the director will have an opportunity to make a written response.

Commission Review and Decision

The Administrator’s Report, each Classroom Observation, written validator comments and recorded director responses from the onsite visit are mailed to the Association office by the validator. Commission early childhood experts closely review all documentation and commission rules are applied to determine the award, deferral or denial of accreditation. It may take up to four-months after the validation visit for the program to receive the accreditation decision.

Maintaining Accreditation Compliance

Adherence to Commission Standards must become a habit. It falls on the shoulders of the onsite director to assure that Commission Standards are consistently maintained after an award of accreditation.

Annual Reports

During the four-year award period, accredited programs are required to submit annual reports. The reports are due on the anniversary date of accreditation. The reports inform the National Accreditation Commission of improvements made to more fully meet Standards and describe activities conducted to maintain on-going compliance with standards. Failure to submit an Annual Report is grounds for withdrawal of accreditation. Incomplete or unacceptable Annual Reports will result in temporary suspension of accreditation until all required information has been received.

Unannounced Visits

In granting an award of accreditation, the National Accreditation Commission retains the right to evaluate the program at any time. Unannounced visits by Accreditation Commission representatives may be made to accredited centers at any time to determine on-going compliance with Commission Standards. Unannounced visits may be made randomly or based on evidence of non-compliance, such as written complaints, licensing reports or annual reports. Depending on the seriousness of the findings, accreditation may be withdrawn. In this case, the program would have to re-enroll and undergo a thorough self-study to be reconsidered for accreditation by the National Accreditation Commission. The decision to withdraw accreditation is final. There is no appeal.

Reporting Changes to the National Accreditation Commission

The National Accreditation Commission must be notified immediately of any change in: director/ administration, ownership, relocation or expansion, significant licensing non-compliance, loss or suspension of license or criminal conviction of a staff member. Current contact information is needed by the National Accreditation Commission to provide programs with notices/reminders, changes in policies and procedures, etc. for which they will be held responsible during the Self-Study period and during the time the program holds an award of accreditation. Notifications sent to the contact information on file in the Association Office will be considered valid and the program will be held accountable for the content of the notifications. Immediately notify the National Accreditation Commission of program changes by submitting the Initial Notification Form (found on the Accreditation Forms page).

Withdrawal of Accreditation

The award of accreditation may be withdrawn if it is determined that the program:

  • is no longer in compliance with Commission Standards
  • has failed to comply with Commission procedures
  • has failed to submit required documentation
  • has reported false information

UPDATE: THE 2020 NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY

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!

 

JOIN US VIRTUALLY!

 Who Should Attend?

Early Care and Education Directors, Owners, VPs & Managers, Agency Administrators, Education Coordinators, Specialists, Trainers & Consultants, Assistant Directors and Emerging Leaders.

Legacy Commission Conference Scholarships

The Legacy Commission was formed by past Board Presidents of the Association with the purpose of “giving back” and supporting the mission and legacy of AELL and all it represents.  As an extension of that effort, we are making available a limited number of scholarship awards for use at 36th Annual National Conference, How Successful Directors Lead.  It is truly our joy to support the ongoing professional development of early learning leaders like you!

Please review the eligibility requirements and guidelines below and submit completed application below along with requested supporting documents.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  For additional conference information, please visit our website at www.earlylearningleaders.org.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Candidate must be a member in good standing with AELL.
  • Candidate must be actively working in the field of early education.
  • Candidate must submit all required documents in a timely and complete manner.

CRITERIA

  • Completed scholarship application
  • Updated resume
  • Letter on company letterhead from your current employer stating why you are deserving of this scholarship
  • Typewritten, double-spaced 200-word essay addressing the following questions: 
  • Why have you chosen a career in Early Education? 
  • What are your career goals? 
  • What impact would this scholarship have on your education and career goals?

PROCEDURE

Applications should be emailed to Lori Buxton, [email protected] and must be received no later than                 August 15, 2020 for consideration for the 2020 conference awards.  Award notifications will be made on or before September 1, 2020. 

DOWNLOAD SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

Where can I contact an organizer with questions?

Email us at [email protected] or call 512-301-5557.

What is the cancellation policy?

CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION FOR NEWARK CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED PRIOR TO JULY 6, 2020: Please contact Aryam Andom, [email protected], for cancellation options.

CANCELLATION FOR VIRTUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED ON OR AFTER JULY 6, 2020:                              All cancellations must be made in writing and sent to [email protected].  Cancellations received before September 1, 2020* are refundable minus a $125 processing fee. No-shows and cancellations received after September 1, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund.

REGISTRATION TRANSFERS: Registration is transferable without penalty or funds can be applied to another posted AELL training event or to another person.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes!  You can update your registration information at any time.  Just email [email protected] for assistance. 

36th Annual National Conference Schedule Overview

 

Tuesday Pre-Conference (all times CDT)

 
*PreCon: Operating Your Program in a COVID-19 World12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
SMALL TALK! with Ron & Lori - Conference Kick-Off Edition7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday (all times CDT)

Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Opening Keynote: Dr. Peter Gray10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Munch & Mingle with Exhibitors12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m

Breakout Session One

1:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Round Table Conversations2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Get Connected! First-Time Attendee Meet-and-Greet4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Zoom Groups Happy Hour5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Thursday (all times CDT)

Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Breakout Session Two10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Speed Networking with Attendees11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Munch & Mingle with Exhibitors12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Breakout Session Three1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Round Table Conversations

2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Ambassador Informational Meeting4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
SMALL TALK! Happy Hour with Mixologist7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Friday (all times CDT)

Coffee with the Exhibitors9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Breakout Session Two10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Exhibitor Networking Break11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Brown Bag Conversations12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Closing Keynote: Dr. Jeanette Betancourt1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
 

*Saturday Staff Training (all times CDT)

 
Excellence in the Classroom Session One10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Excellence in the Classroom Session Two11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Brown Bag Conversations1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Excellence in the Classroom Session Three1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
*Optional, fee-based training events
  
 

 

DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

 

PRICING

PRE-CONFERENCE TRAINING EVENT: 

Member w 3-Day Registration: $99          Non Member w 3-Day Registration: $149          Pre-Conference Event Only: $199 

 3-DAY CONFERENCE REGISTRATION              

Member 3-Day Registration: $465            Non Member 3-Day Registration: $565

Registration|Annual Membership Bundle: $595 (Member 3-Day Registration with One Year AELL Membership)

CEUs

CEUs are offered for every session at no additional cost. The Association for Early Learning Leaders has partnered with Stalwart-Genesis to provide Continuing Education Units for conference attendees.

GROUP RATES

FOR 3-DAY CONFERENCE: Register four or more directors, owners, or administrators and receive 10% discount for ALL 3-day registrations.

FOR SATURDAY STAFF TRAINING: Register ten or more staff and receive 10% discount for all registrants.

Call us at 512-551-0857 for promo code.

What is the cancellation policy?

CANCELLATION OF REGISTRATION FOR NEWARK CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED PRIOR TO JULY 6, 2020: Please contact Aryam Andom, [email protected], for cancellation options.

CANCELLATION FOR VIRTUAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PURCHASED ON OR AFTER JULY 6, 2020:                              All cancellations must be made in writing and sent to [email protected].  Cancellations received before September 1, 2020* are refundable minus a $125 processing fee. No-shows and cancellations received after September 1, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund.

REGISTRATION TRANSFERS: Registration is transferable without penalty or funds can be applied to another posted AELL training event or to another person.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes!  You can update your registration information at any time.  Just email [email protected] for assistance. 

DR. PETER GRAY, Author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education.  He is author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook (Psychology, Worth Publishers, now in its 8th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective.  His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books). He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today magazine.  He earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia College and Ph.D. in biological sciences, many years ago, at the Rockefeller University.  His own current play includes kayaking, long distance bicycling, backwoods skiing, and vegetable gardening.

 

DR. JEANETTE BETANCOURT, Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop

Dr. Betancourt is the Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.  She directs the development and implementation of community and family engagement initiatives making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. These research-based initiatives are designed to impact children’s early learning, health and well-being, and provide strategies and resources to counteract the effects of trauma while fostering the critical connections that adults have on children’s lives. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Dr. Betancourt created programs in adult learning and early childhood education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is a licensed bilingual speech and language pathologist and educational therapist. She participates on several national and local boards and has contributed to the start of charter schools. Dr. Betancourt has a BA and MA in Speech and Language Pathology; an MS in Bilingual Reading/Special Education, and an Ed.D. in Special Education.

Click HERE to learn more about Sesame Workshop.

 

 

 

36th Annual National Conference, How Successful Directors Lead!

The Association for Early Learning Leaders pursues experts in the early care and education community to present sessions from a national perspective to early care and education directors, administrators and owners at our Annual Conference, How Successful Directors Lead! The Association prides itself on the high-level of quality and professionalism that is upheld throughout the conference.

Sessions incorporate the following areas of expertise: leadership, legal, business administration, budgeting, insurance-liability, health & safety, curriculum, assessment, instructional leadership, parent education and program quality-accreditation. In order to lead a quality early learning program, directors are required to have knowledge, skills and abilities from diverse areas. Nationally known experts from across the country are secured to share a wealth of knowledge and experience with our participants.

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is a professional organization committed to strengthening the skill level of leaders in the field of early care and education. We believe that effective management is the critical link to superior programs.

DOWNLOADABLE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE OVERVIEW 

 

CALL FOR 2020 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS HAS CLOSED.

CALL FOR 2021 CONFERENCE PRESENTERS WILL OPEN ON JULY 15, 2020

The Association for Early Learning Leaders pursues experts in the early care and education community to present sessions from a national perspective to early care and education directors, administrators and owners at our Annual Conference, How Successful Directors Lead! The Association prides itself on the high-level of quality and professionalism that is upheld throughout the conference.

Sessions incorporate the following areas of expertise: leadership, legal, business administration, budgeting, insurance-liability, health & safety, curriculum, assessment, instructional leadership, parent education and program quality-accreditation. In order to lead a quality early learning program, directors are required to have knowledge, skills and abilities from diverse areas. Nationally known experts from across the country are secured to share a wealth of knowledge and experience with our participants.

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is a professional organization committed to strengthening the skill level of leaders in the field of early care and education. We believe that effective management is the critical link to superior programs.

The Association accepts requests for conference presenters from May 15 through September 1 annually.* The requests are thoroughly reviewed and presenters are notified of acceptance by October 31. Presentations are to be either 1 hour 45 minutes or 3 hours in length with a 15-minute break. Presenters will be required to submit a completed and approved CEU application.

Travel and Hotel Arrangements for Presenters

Each presenter is responsible for making individual travel and hotel arrangements. The availability of hotel accommodations is limited at the conference site so register early. Conference group rate information is available here.  

Conference Registration

All presenters will receive one complimentary conference registration that includes many conference extended events including lunch on Thursday and Friday.   After we receive your signed agreement, we will provide you with information regarding registration. Conference presenters will have reserved seating. Additional tickets may be purchased at $50 each.

The Association does not offer honorariums for session presenters but is pleased to provide a letter of participation for you to include in your professional speaking portfolio.

 *The COVID-19 emergency has delayed the opening of the 2021 Call for Presenters.

Important Information for Preparing Your Proposal

ROOM SET UP:

The training room will be set up for approximately 40-80 people with a presenter’s table in front.

AUDIO/VISUAL:

Each presenter will have access to a projector and screen. These items will be provided by the Association at no extra cost. We respectfully request that each presenter provide a laptop if one is needed during the presentation. Should additional audio/visual equipment be required, arrangements will be made at your expenses with the contracted audio visual company for the Conference.  Internet access is not always freely available.  Please consider this when building your training content.

HANDOUTS:

The Association requests that each presenter provide a handout corresponding with the topic of discussion and sufficient copies for all attendees. Handouts should be no more than four (4) pages in length and contain a minimum of three website resources and two additional resources or references related to the topic.

ACCREDITATION STANDARDS:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders sponsors the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. If accreditation standards are referenced during the presentation, please include accreditation standards in the reference. To obtain a list of standards, click here. For questions on particular standards, contact [email protected]

PROMOTING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:

The Association for Early Learning Leaders recognizes that the National Conference is often used as a vehicle for presenters to expand their own markets.  The Association encourages the dissemination of knowledge promoting personal and professional development and to enhance the quality of early care and education programs.  To respectively maintain a balance of dissemination of information and marketing, presenters are encouraged to purchase an exhibit booth in the Exhibit Hall.  Interested presenters may contact Lori Buxton, Managing Director, at [email protected] for reservations in the Exhibit Hall.

Please help us maintain the professional integrity of the conference by abstaining from the appearance of using your session as a marketing venue.  Presenters will not be allowed to sell, display, or promote their events, publications, materials, and/or services during their training presentation.  You will be permitted to distribute promotional materials to participants at the conclusion of your session and our conference Ambassadors are happy to facilitate distribution of your materials.

Failure to abide by presenter guidelines may result in your not being invited to present at future AELL training events.

Accomodations

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event.  If you had reservations at the venue, they should have been cancelled automatically with the cancellation of the event room block.  If that did not occur, please contact the hotel directly to cancel.

Our 36th Annual National Conference scheduled to be held at the Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., has been transitioned to a virtual event.

FOR REGISTRANTS TRANSFERRING FUNDS TO 2021 NATIONAL CONFERENCE:

The 37th Annual National Conference will be held April 7-10, 2021 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista.  The nearest airport is the Orlando International Airport (MCO).

INFORMATION FOR THE 37TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE WILL BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 22, 2020.

 

NEWARK LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Shuttle information will be available soon.  Please check back.

NEW YORK-LAGUARDIA AIRPORT

Shuttle information will be available soon. Please check back.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hilton Meadowlands is pleased to offer our group a 50% discount off of posted self-parking rates if you are driving in.

 

Please let Conference Services know that you are self-parked to get your parking discount pass.

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The Association for Early Learning Leaders is committed to excellence in the field of early childhood care and education by promoting leadership development and enhancing program quality.

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