Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Fairmont State Laboratory Preschool has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals. The preschool is part of the Fairmont State Community & Technical College Early Childhood program.

"We're proud to be accredited by NAEYC, and recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said Associate Professor of Early Childhood Nancy Cheshire, the program's coordinator. "NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences."

In the 20 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high quality in early childhood education programs. More than 10,000 programs, serving more than 850,000 young children, are currently accredited by NAEYC.

"In recent years, we've seen a growing number of child care and preschool programs earning NAEYC Accreditation," said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. "By earning accreditation, Fairmont State's Early Childhood program has become a leader in a national effort to raise the quality of early childhood education, and to help give all children a better start."

NAEYC created its accreditation program in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality child care and early education programs. To earn NAEYC's accreditation, a program conducts a self-study to determine how well it meets the standards. After necessary improvements are made, the program is observed by independent, professional validators and then reviewed by a national panel. Programs are accredited by NAEYC for a five-year period.

Fairmont State's Laboratory Preschool serves as a model demonstration site for Early Childhood students and early childhood professionals. This fall the preschool will provide a morning class for 4-year-olds on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays taught by Sandra Petry; an afternoon class for four-year-olds on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays taught by Bethanie Morris; and a morning class for 3-year-olds on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by Petry.

Additional information on the Laboratory Preschool may be obtained by calling Nancy Cheshire at (304) 367-4588.