By Matthew Keck–
The University of Louisville’s Early Learning Campus (ELC) announced its re-accreditation on Aug. 26 and it will remain credible for another five years.
“Our ELC team spent more than a year in preparation and compiled documentation to address each criterion within ten standards,” said Director of ELC Jill Jacobi-Vessels. “While it was a challenging undertaking, the process proved to be affirming and motivating for us as our final scores were 99% -100% in all areas.”
The National Association for the Education of Young Children accredits programs that meet the criteria in teaching, relationship-building, curriculum, health, safety and other areas. U of L’s ELC program scored in the top of each category in NAEYC’s accreditation process.
The accreditation process consists of third-party agencies rigorously reviewing programs to ensure their compliance with the set standards. “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions and/or programs of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality,” says the U.S. Department of Higher Education website.
For a program to be accredited for a five-year term they must meet:
- 70 percent of assessment items for each standard.
- 100 percent of required assessment items.
- 70 percent of assessment items for classes selected.
After receiving accreditation programs must submit annual reports with fees, adhere to policies and report all major changes and incidents to NAEYC. The ELC program at U of L hosts frequent visits for area centers and schools to find ways to improve their own programs.
The program provides child development for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Faculty, staff, students and residents of the Family Scholar House and Old Louisville are all able to use the ELC’s services.
“As a NAEYC accredited center, we maintain smaller group sizes and staff-to-child ratios than are allowable by state regulations,” said Jacobi-Vessels. “We engage children in play-based learning by creating intentional environments, leveraging their own interests, and building positive and caring relationships.”
Pricing varies depending on the enrolled children’s age. Weekly rates range from $190 to $240 depending upon the enrolled child’s age. There are currently 150 children enrolled in the program.
The ELC program doubles as a classroom for early childhood education students. Credits earned in the program are transferable.
“Our curriculum, which is based on the Reggio-Emilia philosophy, is geared toward sharing beauty, wonder and curiosity to help children build a life-long love of learning,” said Jacobi-Vessels. This approach allows children to interact and explore ideas and concepts they have alongside their teachers.
Photo By Matthew Keck / Louisville Cardinal