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Childcare center achieves accreditation

Emporia State’s Center for Early Childhood Education has been awarded accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

NAEYC accreditation demonstrates commitment to program quality improvement and is a mark of quality in early childhood education.

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Keely Persinger, director of the CECE. “NAEYC Accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our high-quality program have teachers who create engaging classrooms, enhance relationships with their parents and families, and develop rich experiences for their students.” 

CECE serves children from ages 12 months (walking) through 5 years in four classrooms in a year-round program. There is also a school age program meeting the needs of children in grades 1 through 6 in the summer months. 

The CECE serves families of the Emporia State community of students and faculty/staff; however, it also serves many children from the surrounding Emporia area. In addition, CECE serves as a practicum and observation site for ESU students training to be early childhood and early childhood special education teachers.

To earn NAEYC accreditation, the CECE went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria.

The program received NAEYC accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the 10 program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation. The CECE’s accreditation is valid through May 1, 2020.

“I had no doubt that we would pass the strenuous process, but I am extremely pleased with our report,” Persinger said. “Our staff not only meet standards, but they far exceeded many of them.  It took years of preparing materials, but it was very rewarding to grow professionally and in how we best meet the needs of the young children in the Emporia community.”

Licensed in 2004, the CECE’s predecessors were established programs on the ESU campus for many years. The ESU Child Development Center was in operation since 1982. The Butcher Preschool began in the early 1970s. They both merged their programs together in August of 2004 to form the ESU Center for Early Childhood Education. 

For more information about the CECE, contact Persinger at 620-341-5290 or at