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Commission Standards Overview

The National Accreditation Commission has 97 Standards divided into 7 component areas. The Standards with their Indicators are organized by component area into the Administrator’s Report and Classroom Observation. Standards are the criteria used to identify high-quality outcomes for young children. Each standard is labeled with a letter and a number (A1, F6). Most standards have indicators listed below the standard. Indicators are the specific requirements used to verify compliance with that standard.

The Administrator’s Report contains the Standards that guide the entire program. Although the director is the primary person responsible for completing the Administrator’s Report, it is imperative that Standards in this section be discussed and understood by all staff members.

Standards in the Administrator’s Report are grouped in four components:

> Administration
> Professional Development
> Family Engagement
> Program Health and Safety

The Classroom Observation section contains the Standards that guide individual classrooms. Teachers will rate themselves on their implementation of each standard and indicator in the Classroom Observation section. The director will make observations in each classroom and make independent ratings. A period of improvement will follow before compiling a final rating.

Standards in the Classroom Observation are grouped in three components:

> Curriculum
> Interactions between Teachers and Children
> Classroom Health and Safety

Verification of Commission Standards

Certain validation methods have been identified to confirm compliance with Standards and Indicators. These are [D] Document Review, [O] Observation, [FS] Family Survey, [ES] Employee Survey, [I] Interview. Validation methods that will be used for a specific standard are listed following each Indicator or Standard. All methods used to verify a Standard are listed in the box labeled “Observer/Validator’s Use” below each Standard.

Document Review
Documents can often provide evidence that Standards are met. Each time Document Review is listed as a Validation Method, written materials must be available to the validator that authenticates the information required for that standard. The documents required and instructions for their organization can be found in the form Document Organization.

Some documents are of a confidential nature and should remain in children and staff files to be sampled on the day of the visit. These documents are listed in the Document Organization and separately in Children and Staff Records Document Review.

The validator will record what is seen and heard that pertains to the Standards on the day of the Validation Visit.

Employee Survey and Family Survey
All employees and families are to be given an opportunity to complete a confidential survey regarding their experiences with the program and their understanding and awareness of certain policies, procedures, and practices. Summaries of survey results are submitted to the Association Office when the request for a Validation Visit is made. Look behind the Surveys tab for detailed rules and instructions on the employee survey process and the family survey process.

It may be necessary for the validator to interview a staff member for information or explanation of an observation made during the classroom visit. This is the least frequently used method of validation, as it takes the staff member and validator away from other responsibilities. However, it is helpful to explain to staff that an interview may occur if additional information is needed. It can help staff feel less nervous if an interview is requested.

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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