For more than 90 years, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been the trusted voice of high-quality early learning in the United States and around the globe. As the foremost professional association for the early childhood field, NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.

The policies, standards, and practices we develop and advocate for are based on research and evidence in child development. This ever-growing body of work forms the foundation for NAEYC’s accreditation standards, which serve as the industry standard of quality for early learning programs. The accreditation standards and their implementation support developmentally appropriate practices and foster rich learning environments and experiences. These, in turn, have been shown to have a positive impact on children’s brain development, early literacy skills, social relationships, and learning foundations.

In addition to our early learning program standards, NAEYC leads the field in developing and implementing professional preparation standards. These have been adopted by states and institutions of higher education across the country so that practitioners and students who commit to careers in the early childhood profession develop into educators with the requisite skills and knowledge. NAEYC, committed to elevating the voices of the early childhood profession, is also engaged in a national, state, and local collaboration to establish a shared framework of career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards, and compensation that unifies the entire profession. We aim to ensure that our nation’s policies and practices catch up with the significant body of research and science about the individual and collective benefits that accrue when children have access to high-quality early learning settings with supported, skilled, and knowledgeable teachers. That’s when we will deliver on the promise of early learning.