The study of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s accreditation program found that:
- Child-care centers that won accreditation from the NAEYC started out offering higher-quality care than those that sought but did not win accreditation and those that didn’t seek it.
- Centers that won accreditation improved more than centers that neither won nor sought it.
- Accreditation alone is not a guarantee of high quality. Even among accredited centers, nearly 40 percent were rated mediocre at the study’s end.
- Nonprofit status, higher wages paid to teachers, and retention of skilled teachers coupled with accreditation predicted high quality.
- Skilled teachers were as likely to leave accredited centers as nonaccredited ones.
- Skilled teachers were more likely to remain if they earned higher-than-average wages and worked with others who were well-trained.
Copies of “NAEYC Accreditation as a Strategy for Improving Child Care Quality’’ are available for $24.95 each, prepaid, plus shipping and handling, from the National Center for the Early Childhood Work Force, 733 15th St. N.W., Suite 1037, Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 737-7700; e-mail: email@example.com.