NAS Whiting Field CDC renews accreditation

Published on September 28, 2012 with No Comments

Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s Child Development Center recently received another five-year accreditation, displaying the quality care that is the hallmark of child care Navy-wide. The accreditation certificate was the result of more than a year-long effort by the staff.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the certifying agency and has been establishing the benchmarks of quality child care for almost 30 years. The accreditation process is voluntary, and NAS Whiting Field’s CDC has been participation in the process since the early 1990s, according to CDC Director Mary Marcoux. While the process is difficult and time consuming, she feels the end result is well worth the effort.

“It gives our families the satisfaction that everything is the way it should be. It shows that we give quality care to the children,” Marcoux explained.

With five binders of checklists and documentation, plus additional binders in each classroom; the process is obviously exhausting. The process reviews such diverse elements of child care as teacher to student ratios, child safety, drinking water quality, food menus, available first aid and training, and even pest control. The paperwork and supporting evidence have to be in order before the site visit can be scheduled. The validator spends all day at the site, not only reviewing the facility as compared to the documentation, but also observes the children and their interaction with the teachers.

Marcoux emphasizes that there is no fooling the examiners. The reactions of the children will show if there is any change in the routine or classroom environment.

“You have to do things the right way all the time. If you do something different for the inspection, they will see it through how the kids respond,” she said. “Getting the certification is a relief, but it doesn’t stop, because we have to keep that same level up.”

The results show that the CDC did very well. Eighty percent is passing throughout each of the inspection areas. The NAS Whiting Field CDC never scored below a 93 percent, and in fact scored over 100 in several areas where they were able to accumulate points based on emerging criteria that is not yet required, but will be.

The hardest part for Marcoux was the waiting. The site visit, which is the final step in the evaluative process, occurred in April, however, the CDC didn’t receive the final results for more than three months.

“It feels good. We were all a team and we all came together for this. We worked hard, and it showed,” she said.

About 6,500 day care centers across the country carry the NAEYC accreditation, and the certification is common with Navy CDCs. Naval Station Jacksonville went through their process about the same time as NAS Whiting Field, and NAS Pensacola is preparing for their site visit now. It is a valuable tool in helping to show military members that the Navy is concerned with providing the top quality attention for their children that their service deserves. NAEYC stresses that their ‘stamp of approval’ helps families identify programs that provide the strong learning environment that kids need to enjoy “greater readiness for and success in school.”

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Director Joe Vukovcan concurs.

“The NAEYC accreditation process validates that NAS Whiting Field’s CDC is providing not only a high quality early childhood education, but also ensures other services, such as health, nutrition, social skills, and well-being are of equal high quality to help form well-rounded individuals. Parents should feel that when they entrust the Child Development Center with the care and education of their children, all their needs are being addressed.”

Posted in Military, News

Tags: , ,

No Comments

There are currently no comments on NAS Whiting Field CDC renews accreditation. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment