NECC’s Accreditation Program

Supporting You on Your Journey to National Accreditation

Through the Accreditation Program, NECC provides materials, guidance, and support to help eligible licensed family child care providers become accredited by the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC).

Why is accreditation important?

  • Accreditation is a nationally recognized indicator of program quality
  • Signals to parents and families, either in search of care or currently enrolled, that the program they’ve chosen for their children honors diversity and reflects cultural competency
  • Educators develop a shared understanding and commitment to quality

What’s Included?

  • Self-study kit materials 
  • Paid NAFCC application fee 
  • Access to Accreditation Program Grant for meeting training requirements and accreditation Benchmarks of Quality 
  • Technical assistance and mentorship providing programs with individual guidance and support in the accreditation process 
  • Engagement in the monthly Community of Practice for accreditation facilitation, peer support, and networking

The Accreditation Process

Through a series of processes and set standards, accredited early childhood care and education programs meet criteria broken down into five core areas of: relationships, environment, learning activities, safety and health, and professional and business practices.

The NAFCC has identified a 5-step path to achieving accreditation that most providers undergo anywhere from 18-24 months:

  • Self-Study 
    • A self-paced stage of reflection to assess whether practices are already in line with NAFCC Quality Standards, and how to achieve this status. 
  • Application 
    • After completion of the self-study, providers can submit their application for accreditation.  
  • Observation 
    • This is where providers get to show off their skills by demonstrating how they fulfill each standard’s requirements. 
  • Decision 
    • At this phase, the NAFCC and Accreditation Council determine the providers’ compliance to all standards and deliver their decision.  
  • Maintain 
    • Accreditation is valid for three years, and programs are required to reapply at 2 years and 6 months at the beginning of the accreditation process. 

Ready to begin your accreditation journey?

NECC is sponsoring a limited number of Elevated Network providers who are ready to become accredited family child care programs.

If you would like to learn more information, reach out to