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Children’s Learning Center Meets National ‘Excellence’ Standards

The Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology was granted re-accreditation recently by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a prestigious recognition achieved by just 7 percent of early-childhood programs nationwide.

NAEYC accreditation is a rigorous, voluntary process by which early-childhood programs must demonstrate they meet national standards of excellence.

Programs seeking accreditation undergo intensive self-study, collecting information from parents, teachers, administrators and classroom observations. They also receive an on-site visit from NAEYC-trained early-childhood professionals, who must validate the self-study results. The information is reviewed independently by a team of national experts who grant or defer accreditation. If awarded, accreditation is valid for three years.

The Children’s Learning Center received its initial NAEYC accreditation in 1998, but this was the first time that the toddler room added in 1999 went through the accreditation process, noted Karen Woland Payne, the center’s director.

“We are especially proud of the comments made by the academy, commending the center staff ‘for the warm and positive interactions’ with the children, ‘for providing a curriculum that encourages children to be actively involved in the learning process,’ and for ‘recognizing the importance of a reciprocal relationship between families and programs,'” Payne said, referring to comments made in a decision report accompanying the notification letter.

“The heart of NAEYC accreditation focuses on the child’s experience,” added Barbara Willer, NAEYC spokesperson. “The process carefully considers all aspects of a program including health and safety, staffing, staff qualifications and physical environment. The greatest emphasis is on the children’s relationships with the staff and how the program helps each child grow and learn intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally.”

The Children’s Learning Center offers a toddler room for children ages 18 months to 3 years old, preschool classes for children ages 3 to 5, and a private academic kindergarten for children who reach age 5 by Sept. 1 of their kindergarten year. In the summer only, school-age children up to age 8 may also be enrolled. Each class is led by a group leader with a degree in education and an assistant group leader who also meets professional requirements. Kindergarten teachers are Pennsylvania-certified.

The center gives preference to Penn College students and employees, but is open to the community if spaces remain. The center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except for days when the entire College is closed.

For more information about the Children’s Learning Center at Penn College, call (570) 320-8026, or visit on the Web .

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