What is Alberta child care accreditation?
Licensed child care programs can go through the accreditation process by showing that they meet the standards of excellence which go beyond the licensing regulations. The process starts with a self-evaluation of services and policies which involves understanding areas for improvements, creating a quality enhancement plan (QEP), and developing strategies to achieve the standards.
Once the standards are met and evidence are gathered, an on-site assessment is then conducted. If successful, an accreditation certification, which is valid for three years, is then awarded. Those with the certification are expected to maintain the standards for a three-year term. Every year the program is continuously implementing strategies from their QEP as well as undergoing an administrative review.
The six standards are divided into four categories: outcomes for the children; outcomes for the families; outcomes for staff; and outcomes for the community. The six standards are:
1. Positive, supportive relationships and enriched physical and emotional environments foster children's well-being and development
2. Program planning and practices support every child's optimal development in an inclusive early learning and care environment that incorporates the value and importance of play
3. Relationships with families are supportive and respectful
4. Child care programs create a supportive work environment to maintain a qualified team of child care professionals and assist them in providing high quality child care services through its philosophy, policies, procedures, and practices
5. Child care programs collaborate with community organizations and services to respond to the needs of children and families they serve
6. Continuous quality improvement is demonstrated though ongoing self-monitoring and evaluation processes