Fall 2004

For Principal Barb Cirigliano and her staff, it feels like being awarded Olympic gold. The Willow Grove Kindergarten and Early Childhood Center has attained the elite accreditation of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The nation’s largest and most influential organization of early childhood educators, NAEYC administers a rigorous accreditation system. Through it, childhood professionals compare programs and commit to ongoing evaluation. This national, professionally sponsored system serves to raise the quality of early childhood and kindergarten programs.

Achieving accreditation was a long process, beginning with a thorough self-study based on NAEYC criteria for High Quality Early Childhood Programs. A team of professional validators then visited Willow Grove for two days of observation to verify the self-study. Next, a 3-member national commission of early childhood education experts reviewed the team findings and interview responses of Barb Cirigliano and her staff.

“Achieving NAEYC accreditation has been a goal since Willow Grove was established as an early childhood and kindergarten center in 1999,” notes Barb Cirigliano.

Accreditation for Willow Grove is renewed annually.