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In the early childhood profession, accreditation systems assess the quality of early care and education programs that serve young children in group settings, as well as university/college educator preparation programs that prepare early childhood professionals, including teachers. Accreditation provides a systematic approach for a profession to agree upon and identify program quality. In addition, the process of attaining accreditation is a method for programs to improve and sustain quality. Programs achieve accreditation status when self-evaluation is complete and evidence is provided to an accrediting body that standards-based criteria have been met by the program. As an objective standard of quality, accreditation provides consumers with valid information that can be helpful to parents seeking care and education for a young child or an individual who is ...

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