Virginia Tech’s Child Development Center for Learning and Research recently achieved a new, five-year term of re-accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The center has been accredited for more than 25 years.
The center received a perfect ranking of 100 percent in all 10 program areas reviewed by the Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation team.
“Scores at this level are unheard of,” said Anisa Zvonkovic, professor and head of the Department of Human Development. “This is a testament to the strong training we provide.”
Noting in particular that the way in which a program is administered affects all other interactions, the NAEYC Academy commended the Virginia Tech program for managing a program efficiently and effectively, and for including all staff, children, and families in key center decisions and activities.
Zvonkovic credited the leadership team of Karen Gallagher and Alexa Gardner, director and curriculum coordinator of the center, respectively, for the stellar results.
“Our teachers and staff work hard on a daily basis to provide children with a nurturing, stimulating home-away-from-home,” said Gallagher, noting that teachers and staff members often went “the extra mile” to make the center special. “Classroom observation is also a huge part of the process and our teachers excelled in the review,” added Gallagher.
Leadership is highly valued by NAEYC, and the Virginia Tech center’s teachers and staff share their expertise by mentoring other early childhood educators through the Virginia Star Quality Initiative, a state professional development program to boost child care quality.
The Child Development Center for Learning and Research also serves as a hub for student research and training, where faculty such as Bradburn are state leaders in research on best practices in early care and education. Bradburn has brought in over a million dollars in research funding in her eight years at the university from various sources including the Administration for Children and Families, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.
NAEYC areas upon which accreditation are based include promoting positive relationships among children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging; a curriculum that promotes learning and development in the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive; qualified teachers who use developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective approaches; ongoing assessment of each child that is communicated with the family; and a safe environment that promotes healthy nutrition.