The Child Development Center at White Sands Missile Range received top scores from the National Association for the Education of Young Children after being evaluated for an Army mandated accreditation.
“(The accreditation) sets a high standard of guidelines by providing a nurturing healthy and safe environment,” said CDC Director Kim Arrey.
In order to pass the accreditation, the center must meet the standards by at least 80 percent. The center scored in the high 90s in all 10 categories. The accreditation must be renewed every five years. The center received a visit from the NAEYC assessor in July where the assessor evaluated the center for two full days.
“We strived very hard to make sure everything was organized. It’s a lot of work and a lot to prepare for,” Arrey said.
The assessor evaluated categories like relationships, curriculum, teaching and child assessment. During the two day evaluation, the assessor looked at both the organization of portfolios and through daily observations. Arrey said the criteria to meet the standards have recently changed in order to make it a little more difficult and ensure the high standards of quality of care are met.
If the center did not receive the accreditation they would have had to reschedule a visit from the NAEYC and explain to parents and their higher headquarters why the accreditation was not met. The staff went above and beyond their routine job duties to ensure that would not be the case. Assistant Director Madelyn Boone said there were several weekend meetings and time spent together after work to make sure everything was in place.
“We had to stay in the know about NAEYC, keep the staff informed, and support the staff,” Arrey said. “They’re really the ones who do all the work to maintain the accreditation.”
Boone said Arrey truly provided a lot of support in obtaining the resources needed for all of the classrooms and to her staff. Boone added that outside of the accreditation preparation the center always strives to give their families and children the best service and care possible.
“We’re so excited, we knew we did well once the assessor left but to get the final result was a sense of relief,” Arrey said. “It helps us to see that we are providing the quality of care just as our mission entails. It’s a nice recognition.”