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ECU's Child Development Lab among nation's top programs

GREENVILLE, NC   (Aug. 1, 1996)   —   East Carolina University’s Child Development Laboratory, a pre-school program for youngsters, has received its second, three-year accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The NAEYC is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of early childhood professionals. About five percent of the early childhood programs nationwide are accredited by this organization.
“This endorsement of the quality of our educational program, staff, and facilities represents an important distinction, and we are very pleased to have received this accreditation,” said Helen Grove, dean of the School of Human Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Grove said the NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process by which early childhood programs demonstrate that they consistently meet national standards of excellence. Preschools, kindergartens, child care programs, and before-school and after-school programs are eligible to seek the accreditation.
The ECU lab provides a preschool setting for 52 children ranging in age from two to five years and also serves as a site for teacher training, research and demonstration. The facility is operated by the School of Human Environmental Sciences’ Department of Child Development and Family Relations. Nancy Lee is the director.
Barbara Willer of the NAEYC, said the heart of the accreditation process focuses on the child’s experience.
“The process carefully considers all aspects of a program, including the curriculum, staff, administration, health and safety considerations, and the physical environment,” she said. “But the greatest emphasis is on the children’s relationships with the staff and how the program helps each child grow and learn -- intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally.”
Programs seeking accreditation undergo a self-study and visits by other early childhood professionals. Information is also submitted for review by a team of national experts.