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USU Uintah Basin Child Development Lab Receives National Accreditation

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

children and teacher outside Uintah Basin Child Development Lab

Children and their teacher play outside at the Uintah Basin Child Development Lab.

The USU Uintah Basin Child Development Lab has received national accreditation.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has granted the status to the Utah State University program. It is located in Roosevelt, Utah, and administered through the Family, Consumer and Human Development Department. NAEYC is the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

“Pursuing accreditation helped us provide the very best experiences for the children we serve,” said Shirlene Law, the Uintah lab’s director.

The NAEYC website lists 23 accredited preschools in Utah, the vast majority of them in or near Salt Lake City. Of the six accredited programs outside the Salt Lake metropolitan area, three are operated by Utah State University.

“We believe so strongly that if we’re training early childhood educators, they need to be trained in settings that implement best practice,” said Shelley Lindauer, interim co-director of the Adele and Dale Young Child Development Laboratory on the Utah State University main campus. “It’s the national standard of excellent early childhood practice.”

NAEYC requires preschools to meet specific criteria in order to achieve accreditation — and those standards are often more rigorous than licensing requirements in most states. The accreditation assures that children’s learning is to be supported through relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessing the child’s progress and supporting the child’s health. Teachers are also evaluated, as are the family and community partners.

It’s a rigorous process, but it’s worth it.

“It’s a great way to validate why we do what we do,” Law said.

Contact: Shirlene Law, 435-722-1722

Writer: JoLynne Lyon, 435-797-1463

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