Texas Tech University Early Head Start Earns NAEYC Accreditation

National association endorses early childhood programs according to health, safety and education standards.

Texas Tech University Early Head Start has earned reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

Early Head Start (EHS), a partnership between Texas Tech and the Lubbock Housing Authority, focuses on providing assistance to pregnant women and families with children between the ages of six weeks and three years.

The NAEYC accreditation system was created to set professional standards for early childhood education and help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs.

“It’s a point of professional pride,” said Stephanie Shine, EHS grant manager. “We feel we represent the best of the child care community, and we want to offer the best to our children and families.”

To earn accreditation, EHS and its services are measured against the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria.

EHS director Denise Stovall said the accreditation is a culmination of two years of hard work.

“It’s a very lengthy and involved process,” Stovall said. “Even before the on-site visit by NAEYC assessors, we must complete a one-year self-study that includes questionnaires to parents, teachers and administrators.”

NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.

“The NAEYC accreditation system raises the bar for child care centers and other early childhood programs,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, executive director of NAEYC. “Having earned NAEYC accreditation is a sign that Early Head Start is a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education.”

Of the more than 7,000 NAEYC accredited programs, Early Head Start is one of only four located in the Lubbock area. The program serves the Estacado High School district boundaries, and is free to those who qualify.

To learn more about Early Head Start, located at 515 N. Zenith, visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/earlyheadstart/.

For more information about the NAEYC, visit www.naeyc.org.

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CONTACT: Denise Stovall, director, Early Head Start, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 765-2737 or denise.stovall@ttu.edu; or Stephanie Shine, grant manager,Early Head Start, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3000 or Stephanie.shine@ttu.edu.