Carey Services’s Marion Early Head Start earns 5-year accreditation

The Marion location of Early Head Start of Carey Services has again earned a five-year accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments.

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards in serving the children and families we serve,” said Beth Wickham, Carey Services’ director of Early Head Start. “All of our staff worked exceptionally hard to show what a great program we have here at Carey Services.”

Carey Services is the Early Head Start provider in Blackford and Grant counties, serving prenatal mothers, children from birth to 3 years old and their families. The program serves 130 children at any given time, but typically serves many more each year as children leave the program and new children are enrolled.

“This is a perfect example of how Carey Services follows our motto of Passionate People – Extraordinary Care,” said Jim Allbaugh, Carey Services’ president and chief executive officer. “Congratulations to our dedicated Early Head Start team.”

NAEYC accreditation applies to an early childhood education site, not an organization that provides early childhood education services. The Hartford City EHS site received its most recent five-year NAEYC accreditation in November 2020.

To earn the accreditation, Early Head Start of Carey Services staff completed an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process before being visited by NAEYC assessors who evaluated the program on the 10 NAEYC program standards and hundreds of other corresponding criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs must always be prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during the five-year accreditation.

In the 30 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are NAEYC accredited; fewer

than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

“NAEYC-accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, NAEYC senior director of early learning program accreditation. “Earning NAEYC accreditation makes Early Head Start of Carey Services an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

For more information about NAEYC accreditation, visit the NAEYC website: www.naeyc.org