Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program has earned accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.
More than 375 Immokalee children currently participate in Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program, which recently announced the addition of a new campus in Immokalee that will accommodate up to 64 additional children ages 6 weeks through 3 years old.
“NAEYC accreditation validates that we’re offering a high-quality curriculum and learning environment that fosters child development,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “We are the only early learning provider in Collier County to have earned NAEYC accreditation and just the second in Southwest Florida, and I’m extremely proud of our team for their hard work and dedication during the two-year accreditation process.”
NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous and transformative 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. Guadalupe Center earned a 100% rating score for each of the program standards.
To earn NAEYC accreditation, Guadalupe Center went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 program standards and hundreds of corresponding criteria.
In the 30 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC, which is less than 10% of all child care centers, preschools and kindergartens nationally.
“NAEYC-accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC accreditation makes Guadalupe Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”
Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program also is accredited by the Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE), Southwest Florida Stars – Quality Rating and Improvement System, and Gold Seal Quality Care Program from the Florida Department of Children and Families. Additionally, Guadalupe Center has a five-star rating from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida.
About Guadalupe Center
Guadalupe Center is a purpose-driven, nonprofit organization with proven results in creating endless possibilities for the students of Immokalee through education and fostering personal and academic success that leads to economic independence. With a focus on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Guadalupe Center is proud of the children’s accomplishments: 94% meet or exceed kindergarten readiness measures, 100% of Tutor Corps high school seniors graduate high school and are accepted into college, and more than 92% graduate with a post-secondary degree.