CDC earns national accreditation Published March 22, 2018 By Mark Wyatt 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The 66th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center here recently earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the world's largest organization of early childhood professionals. According to the organization’s website, the accreditation is a rigorous quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to work with early education programs. “As part of the Military Child Care Act, we are required to be accredited by a national agency,” said Kristen Melvin, the CDC director. “It took our staff about a year and a half to prepare for the two-day visit in January.” CDC officials prepared for the visit by using information collected from CDC staff, families, and observations to create a program improvement plan that strengthened practices throughout the program. The center needed to comply with approximately 420 standards and show evidence of those in five different ways. Among the ways the CDC demonstrated the standards was through classroom observations, showing examples of what they do, parent surveys, staff surveys and a program portfolio outlining policies at the center. “This rigorous accreditation shows the high standards of child care that are put into our program,” Melvin said. “The quality care that Hanscom children receive on this installation is the model for the Air Force and the nation.” As part of the accreditation, unannounced quality-assurance visits during the accreditation term are possible. The term for Hanscom’s CDC is five years. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Scott Craver, Child and Youth Services Flight chief. For more information about NAEYC accreditation, visit the organization’s website at http://www.naeyc.org/academy. For more information on the Child Development Center, visit http://www.hanscomfss.com/child-care.