FREE WEBINAR: Meaningful Classroom Observations of Teacher Performance. Register Today!

FREE WEBINAR: Creating Rich, Inclusive, and Joyful Learning Environments at Your School Register Today!

SELF STUDY

SELF STUDY

Getting Started With Self Study

The first step to becoming accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs is to enroll in self-study.

Introduction Video & Getting Started

The first step to becoming accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs is to enroll in self-study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enroll in Self-Study

Complete the online self-study enrollment by clicking on the “Enroll in Self Study” button on the right side of this page.

  • Accreditation fees are based on license capacity.
  • Programs can pay using a credit card or select the Bill Me option. If selecting Bill Me, Submit a copy of the invoice with payment and

    Mail it to :
    Association for Early Learning Leaders
    1250 S. Capital of Texas Hwy Bldg 3, Ste. 400
    Austin, TX 78746

  • The Accreditation Manual will be mailed within two weeks of receipt of full payment.
  • The self-study is effective for two years from the date of enrollment.
  • Programs must submit the Request for Validation Visit and all required support documents/materials prior to the expiration of the self-study.

Eligibility

Early care and education programs applying for accreditation must be in compliance with state and local regulatory agencies. New programs may enroll in the National Accreditation Commission self-study immediately, but must have been in continuous operation for at least one year at the time of the validation visit. Only programs that have an enrollment of fifteen or more children and operate on a half or full-day basis are eligible. Programs operating under separate licensing and/or having separate physical locations will be considered as separate entities for participation in the accreditation process. School age groups associated with a preschool, with the same onsite director, and located at the same site with the same license must participate in the self-study and accreditation process. NOTE: We do not accredit kindergartens, family group homes or stand-alone school age group care.

Time Table

Each program will establish its own timetable for moving through the Accreditation Self-Study process, but must complete all of the required steps in the process. Implementation of some tasks may occur simultaneously. The required time period for the self-study is no less than six months and no more than two years. The program must submit the completed Self-Study Timetable.

Administrator’s Report

Review standards and indicators in the Administrator’s Report (Standards A1 – C25) with all staff members. This is a necessary step as staff will be asked to respond to their experience with certain administrative standards in their confidential staff survey. Use the Glossary of Terms (behind Appendices tab) to clarify terms used in standards/indicators (glossary terms listed below the “For Validator’s Use Only” box following each standard). Discuss current level of compliance. Identify areas where improvements can be made. Develop, modify and implement policies and procedures as needed to comply with Commission Standards. Compare indicators in Commission Standards with your current staff handbook and parent handbook. Add and/or make changes to policies and procedures as needed. Inform staff and/or parents of the changes as applicable. Implement new policies and procedures. Monitor staff to ensure that they understand and put policy and procedure changes into practice. All standards and indicators in the Administrator’s Report are considered to be appropriate for all programs unless the standard/indicator specifies otherwise. It is not acceptable to mark a standard or indicator “N/A” unless that choice is listed. If you have a unique program, such as 24-hour care, campus center with student staff, or temporary care, and are unclear about how to implement a standard or indicator, contact the Association office for clarification. Compile the Formal Education and On-going Training Log. Compile and store required documentation as specified in Document Organization.

Classroom Observation

All standards in the Classroom Observation are considered to be appropriate for all age groups. Indicators, however, are grouped by ages. All age groups will be observed for the “All Ages” indicators. Additionally, each group will be observed for the indicators that correspond to that age range. It is not acceptable to mark a standard or indicator “N/A” unless that choice is listed, or unless an age is specified in the “Infants/Toddlers/Twos” category that is different from the group being observed (e.g., a teacher of toddlers would write “N/A” beside an indicator that specified infants). If you are unclear on how to implement a standard or indicator in a particular age group, contact the Association office for clarification. Duplicate as many copies of the Classroom Observation as needed. At a minimum, one copy will be needed for self-evaluation by the teachers of each classroom, a second copy for each classroom will be used by the director when making observations, and a third copy will be necessary for recording final ratings for the validator. Retain the original copies of the Classroom Observation for future use if needed. Prior to beginning observations, review standards and indicators in the Classroom Observation (Standards D1 – F8) with all staff members. Use the Glossary of Terms to clarify terms used in standards/indicators (glossary terms listed below the “For Validator’s Use Only” box following each standard). Encourage staff to give examples of how a standard is met in their classroom. Brainstorm additional ways to more fully meet the standard. Acknowledge implementation of standards during routine supervision.

Observations of Classrooms/Teachers

The classroom teacher(s) makes a self-report on compliance with standards and indicators in a copy of the Classroom Observation. The teacher checks each indicator that is judged to be met and rates the standard as “Meets Standard” or “Needs Improvement”. If any indicator cannot be checked, that standard is to be marked as “Needs Improvement”. Next, the director makes observations in each classroom and makes ratings on the teacher’s compliance with standards in a separate copy of the Classroom Observation. The director checks each indicator under a standard that he/she judges to be met and rates the teacher on each standard as “Meets Standard” or “Needs Improvement”. After making independent ratings, the teacher and director meet to compare ratings, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Discrepancies are discussed and a plan is developed for improvement of standards where there is not strong evidence of compliance. The plan might include training, modeling by the director and/or mentor, observation of another teacher who demonstrates strength in the area, topic discussion at staff meeting, etc. The plan always includes monitoring by the director to assure that sufficient improvement occurs in the classroom before a request is made for an onsite validation visit. The director makes additional observations and continues to train and supervise teachers until there is strong evidence of compliance with each Commission standard and each indicator applicable to the age group.

Please Note

Each eligible classroom must be observed and rated on standards and indicators in the Classroom Observation, including the following:

  • Each school age group provided as an extension of a preschool program is to be observed and rated on the Classroom Observation. If the validation visit occurs during summer months when a school age summer program is in session, a Classroom Observation must be completed for each group in the school age program.
  • If an extended-day program is provided, such as early morning and evening care, a Classroom Observation must be completed for each extended-day group.
  • A kindergarten class or stand-alone (off-site) school age program is not to be included as The National Accreditation Commission does not accredit these groups.
  • A final Classroom Observation is to be prepared for each additional classroom that may be formed after the onsite visit has been requested but prior to the validation visit (such as may be the case for a school-age summer program).
  • All adults in the classroom, including the assistant teachers/teacher aides, are expected to meet all standards in the Classroom Observation.
  • Newly hired teachers should be oriented to Commission Standards and follow the entire self- study observation process: complete the self-evaluation and be observed by the director. New lead teachers record final ratings on a copy of the Classroom Observation for validator’s use.
  • All copies of the Classroom Observation completed by teachers and director during the self-study process remain at the center and available to the validator on the day of the visit.

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.

Looking for an Accredited Program?

Looking for a Vendor?

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.

© 2020 Association for Early Learning Leaders All Right Reserved
Privacy Policy

ADDRESS

1250 S. Capital of Texas Hwy
Building 3, Suite #400
Austin, TX 78746

Follow Us