The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program in the College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS) has become the first and only four-year degree program in the state to earn national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
NAEYC is a non-profit agency representing nearly 60,000 early childhood education teachers, center directors, college educators, families of young children, legislative leaders and advocates. The organization seeks to promote top quality early learning programs serving children from birth to age eight. The NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation system is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and is the only accreditor of early childhood degree programs.
In California, there are currently 10 degree programs that have achieved NAEYC accreditation. The ECS program demonstrated excellence in meeting the following standards to join the list: Promoting child development and learning; building family and community relationships; observing, documenting and assessing to support young children and families; using developmentally effective approaches; using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum; becoming a professional; and early childhood field experiences.
“Reaching this level of accreditation is very exciting because it means that we are doing an excellent job preparing our students for future careers in early childhood,” said Assistant Professor Eden Haywood-Bird, associate chair of the ECS department. “It also means that the reach of our department’s impact is long and wide on the children who will be cared for and taught by our graduates.”
Since its inception in 2016, ECS has become the fastest growing baccalaureate program on campus, expanding into its own department in 2018. The program is widely recognized for providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to maximize the social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive and physical development of young children during the most significant stage of growth, from birth to age 8. Program graduates are prepared to work with infants and toddlers, preschoolers and students in early primary school years, including transitional kindergarten through third grade. Graduates are also prepared for careers in home visiting, family support programs, graduate school and other professional careers that focus on working with young children and families.
The ECS program is currently offered as an upper division transfer program, designed to incorporate transfer students from community college child development and early childhood education programs. Students study the processes that are critical for early childhood development and engage in experiential learning activities to practice and apply course knowledge.
“I am so proud of what the ECS department has achieved in just the three years of being our own department,” said Haywood-Bird. “It means that all the hard work we have been putting into our teaching and assessments is working!”
For more information about the ECS program, visit www.cpp.edu/ceis/early-childhood-studies.