The importance of ensuring that preschool programs provide the highest quality care and education to our children cannot be overemphasized. Several state and national organizations have developed standards that guide programs in providing high quality services. While each of these standards are designed to promote quality services, the reasons for their development vary and, consequently, there are significant differences in the content and focus of each of the standards.
In New York State, there are several sets of standards that are used by early childhood programs to guide the administration and delivery of services. This edition of the "Comparison of Early Childhood Program Standards" includes five of the standards that are most in use by programs across the state. Additional standards will be added at a later date. Standards included are: the New York State Center-based Child Care Regulations, Accreditation Criteria and Procedures of the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children Program, Head Start Performance Standards, New York State Family Child Care Regulations, and the National Association of Family Child Care Quality Standards.
The "Comparison of Early Childhood Program Standards" was developed to assist program managers and others interested in program quality easily compare and contrast these standards. It has several purposes including:
- Serving to demonstrate various interpretations of quality across several topic areas;
- Assisting Head Start programs and center-based and family child care programs determine what steps they will need to take to become accredited; and
- Aiding program managers who may fall under the jurisdiction of several programs (e.g., a child care center that operates a Head Start classroom and is AEYC accredited) to ensure that they are meeting all applicable guidelines.