Shout Out: Martha's Table gets accredited!
Great news! We just learned that our friends at Martha's Table in Columbia Heights received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for their Child Development Center. This is a huge accomplishment and a big boost for a program that serves a model for early care and education in our city. Martha's Table is an anchor of the community, providing comprehensive services to low-income children, youth and families, including education, food, clothing and family support.
Receiving NAEYC accreditation is a notoriously rigorous--and expensive--process. According to Martha's Table's blog, it was a four-year, organization-wide effort. To raise the bar, many staff members went back to school to get additional training. Across the city, about 45 percent of community-based centers are accredited by a professional accreditation organization, according to the Office of the State Superintendent for Education. NAEYC accreditation represents the gold standard.
As a city, we need to help centers strive for quality and provide resources to support them as they go through the accreditation process. Even for those centers that do not wish to pursue accreditation, organizations like NAEYC provide useful principles and benchmarks that can guide efforts to raise the quality of care all children receive.