Childtime Childrens Center is now a part of the elite 5 percent of childhood programs in America.
The center was granted accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children on May 22.
Childtime, 920 Jerome St. in Lansing, has been open since 1989 and is licensed for 117 children, ranging in age from 6 weeks to 8 years old. It is one of three accredited childcare centers in the Lansing area.
The heart of NAEYC accreditation focuses on the childs experience, said Wendy Becker, director of Childtime. The process carefully considers all aspects of program provision - including health and safety, staffing, administration and physical environment. But the greatest emphasis is on the childrens relationship with the staff and how the program helps each child grow and learn.
To receive the accreditation, the center went through a voluntary self-study process, collecting information from parents, teachers, administrators and classroom observations. Association-trained professionals conducted onsite visitations to validate the self-study results.
All of the information is independently reviewed by a team of national experts that grants or defers accreditation, which lasts for three years. There are only 4,600 programs that have been accredited since March 1996.
For Childtime staff members, being accredited gives them a sense of accomplishment for maintaining high standards, Becker said.
These standards include developing a childs emotional, social, physical and cognitive skills.
Lansing resident Erik Caviness thinks it is important for a childcare center to be accredited. He and his wife, Nellie, a 2001 MSU graduate, rely on daycare services to watch their 3-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, while they work full-time.
(Accreditation) says that your organization is a step above most daycare centers that basically only baby-sit, Caviness said.
Anne Soderman, acting chairperson of MSUs Department of Family and Child Ecology, said it is extremely important for childcare centers to be accredited.
Accreditation from associations like NAEYC raise the bar on the quality of care of students from simply custodial to developmental, Soderman said.
Childtime is the nations fourth-largest provider of child care and preschool services.
Currently, Childtime Childrens Centers have a total of 50 accredited centers and 75 centers in the process of receiving accreditation, said Jennifer Maxwell, marketing supervisor for Childtime.
These centers are located in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
For more information on Childtime services, contact Becker at 483-3923.