The Ramstein Child Development Center renewed its National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation Sept. 18.
Since 1985, NAEYC’s national accreditation system has set professional standards for early childhood education programs, allowing families to find high-quality programs for their children. By renewing its accreditation, the Ramstein CDC continues to take care of the KMC’s tiniest members, approximately 300 children, from 6 weeks to 5 years old.
Shaquita Ponder, Airmen and Family Services Flight deputy chief, said the CDC is committed
to providing the best early childhood education for eligible children of families living within the KMC.
“We understand parents in the KMC work in a high-ops tempo environment, and our primary goal is to take care of their child by providing a safe, nurturing environment that will foster the child’s growth and development,” Ponder said.
Accreditation by NAEYC is mandated by the Military Child Care Act of 1989.
Similar to a military inspection, NAEYC personnel conducted a three-day site visit in June. Although the CDC has solid processes in place, it had a few challenges to overcome prior to the accreditation visit.
“With the overseas environment, there can be a lot of teacher turnover, especially during the peak summer PCS season,” said Stacy Jones, Ramstein Child Development Center director. “Our staff is constantly changing.”
Ultimately, the CDC aced the accreditation review.
After losing several staff members due to PCSs, those left behind looked to the accreditation review looming in June as an opportunity to excel, Ponder said.
“We were very critically manned at that time,” she said. “In the end, our staff rallied together, and people throughout our organization rallied together and were able to ensure more than 500 criteria were met.”
With support from their force support squadron family, Parent Advisory Board and management team, they continued to uphold the mark of quality represented by the NAEYC accreditation system.
As stated in the September NAEYC accreditation report, the CDC exceeded both program and classroom observation minimum standards meeting all requirements.
Out of 10 criteria programs, the CDC scored more than 90 percent in nine areas, earning the Ramstein CDC a new, five-year term of NAEYC accreditation.
The accreditation term is valid until Oct. 1, 2018.