The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has extended Guadalupe Center’s accreditation through June 2029.
NAEYC accreditation validates that an early learning center offers a high-quality curriculum and exemplary learning environment that fosters child development. Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program at the Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus is the only NAEYC-accredited program in Collier County and among just 10% nationally to earn the designation.
“Accreditation is a very rigorous, extensive process and can be quite challenging for early learning providers to attain. I am proud of our directors and teachers for their dedication and commitment to providing a high-quality program,” said Guadalupe Center President and CEO Dawn Montecalvo. “Being reaccredited by NAEYC demonstrates that we continue following a set of best practices that signify educational excellence across our entire organization.”
NAEYC accreditation is an evaluation system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to drive quality improvement: relationships with students, curriculum strength, teaching approaches, child assessment, nutrition and health, staff qualifications, relationships with students’ families, relationships with the community, physical environment, and program leadership and management.
To earn NAEYC accreditation, early learning centers must undergo an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit with NAEYC assessors to verify that an organization has implemented all recommended program standards and corresponding criteria.
Guadalupe Center’s Early Childhood Education Program serves 535 students from 6 weeks to 5 years old across four campuses in Immokalee. The program focuses on building academic, social, emotional and behavioral skills needed for success in elementary school and beyond. Nearly 96% of students in the Pre-K program meet or exceed Florida’s kindergarten readiness standards. In addition to NAEYC accreditation, Guadalupe Center also is designated as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program by the Florida Department of Education.
The renewed NAEYC accreditation covers Guadalupe Center’s Morgridge Family Early Childhood Education Campus. Two of the nonprofit’s additional early learning centers in Immokalee – the Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus and van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning – are applying NAEYC principles and in various stages of the accreditation process.