Accreditation and Quality Rating

There are a wide variety of accreditations which child care programs and providers may apply for. These national accreditations bring value and validity to programs, allowing them to be recognized as having higher standards than those required by state or local regulations and licensing.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

NAEYC strives to raise the quality of education for all children from birth through age eight. Accreditation systems are major part of NAEYC's efforts to improve early childhood education; they allow programs to provide the best learning experiences for young children and their educators by meeting national standards of quality. To apply for NAEYC accreditation, programs must enroll, complete a self-study, fill out the application, complete a self-assessment, demonstrate candidacy by showing key components of high-quality programming and preparedness for site visit, and meet and maintain NAEYC standards. To learn more and begin the process, visit their website: 

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

NAFCC sponsors the only nationally recognized accreditation system designed specifically for family child care providers. Accreditation is awarded to family child care providers who meet the eligibility requirements and the Quality Standards for NAFCC Accreditation. Family child care providers achieve this high level of quality through a process that examines all aspects of the family child care program, i.e. relationships, the environment, developmental learning activities, safety, health, and professional and business practices. To begin the enrollment process, applicants must commit to quality and enroll in a self-study. Learn more here:

National AfterSchool Association (NAA)

The mission of the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) is to foster development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community. Becoming accredited with NAA is a way to recognize quality and high standards in school-age child care programs. Receiving NAA accreditation shows that a program has demonstrated substantial compliance with the NAA standards by an application that documents the program’s self-study, an on-site visit by NAA Endorsers who rate the program on NAA Standards, and annual reports to the NAA office between endorsement visits. To apply for your accreditation, click here:

American Camp Association (ACA)

The American Camping Association is a community of camp professionals and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults through the camp experience. The main purpose of the ACA-accreditation program is to educate camp owners and directors in the administration of key aspects of camp operation, particularly those related to program quality and the health and safety of campers and staff. The standards establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures, and practices. The camp, then, is responsible for ongoing implementation of these policies. To earn your accreditation, your camp will be visited and evaluated on several topics and sections. To begin the process, visit their website:


QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). It is designed to improve the quality of all early care and learning programs. All licensed child care programs are eligible to participate in this voluntary rating system, whether they are located in nursery schools, child care centers, Head Start programs, public schools, or private homes. Each participating child care program receives a start rating of 1 to 5 that indicates the quality of the child care program, as well as support and consultation to assist with improvement of the child care program. A one-star rating will be issued to any program that meets basic licensing requirements by completing a simple application. Through its five-star rating system, QUALITYstarsNY recognizes the programs that demonstrate quality above and beyond meeting New York’s strong regulatory standards. To have your program assessed and rated, visit their website to get started: