Accreditation Overview

WERC strives to raise the quality of education for all children from birth through age eight. Accreditation systems are a major part of WERC'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. Why is WERC Accreditation right for your program?

Research shows a direct correlation between high-quality early learning and children's positive long-term outcomes in life, including increased educational attainment, healthier lifestyles, and more successful careers.

WERC Accreditation helps teachers and other staff at early learning programs develop a shared understanding and commitment to quality. The accreditation process leads to increased staff morale, greater staff retention, and a more positive, energetic work atmosphere overall—enabling centers to provide a solid foundation for all children's success in life.

WERC Accreditation helps families recognize quality early learning programs and feel comfortable knowing that their children are receiving a high-quality, research-based education that will prepare them for future success.

WERC Accreditation offers programs access to continuous quality-improvement resources, the latest research on best practices, training, technical assistance, visibility on family-focused search engines, and much more.

Accreditation Must Know

Achieving WERC Accreditation is a four-step process that involves self-study, self-assessment, candidacy, and meeting and maintaining accreditation over a four-year period.

Directors, teachers, and families all participate in the process. Programs are required to meet standards grouped into ten areas: relationships with children, curriculum, teaching approaches, child assessment, nutrition and health, staff qualifications, relationship with children's families, relationship with the community, physical environment, and program leadership and management.

By design, the WERC Accreditation process looks different for each program. While the standards do not change from program to program, the path to implementation is tailored for each center pursuing accreditation. We take into account a variety of factors, including geographic location and available resources. However, one element of the process is the same for all programs: our continuous support.

WERC Accreditation of Early Learning Programs provides a transformative quality-improvement system—rigorous process programs can engage in to meet the highest program standards for quality early learning. While WERC Accreditation follows a four-step process toward achieving accreditation, that process may look different for each program. WERC individualizes the process to ensure that your program always strives for continuous quality improvement in a way that works for your staff, the children, and their families.

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