AdvancED®, Primrose Schools® Raise Bar for Early Childhood Education with New Accreditation Standards

ATLANTA (Feb. 9, 2012) – Primrose Schools, The Leader in Educational Child Care®, has been selected to partner with AdvancED, the world’s largest accrediting and school improvement organization, to develop and pilot the new AdvancED Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools. The Standards will align with AdvancED’s overall accreditation process but are designed to specifically support early childhood education best practices and continuous improvement.

“We chose to partner with Primrose Schools because of its long-standing history of leadership, quality delivery of early childhood education and strong systems approach,” says Claudia Carter, Vice President for Accreditation for AdvancED. “The new AdvancED Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools will be the highest-level accreditation institutions can achieve within the early learning arena.”

The Standards outline best practices for the education of young children, including:

  • Use of developmentally appropriate practices
  • Focus on learning, growth and development
  • Focus on cognitive, emotional, social, creative and physical growth and development
  • Relationships between young children, staff and parents
  • Preservation of the child’s dignity in care routines
  • Health and safety in facilities, space and activities
  • Respect for self and others

Forty-one Primrose schools are participating in AdvancED’s pilot of the new Accreditation Standards. The Standards will go into effect in the 2012-13 school year for all early learning schools that wish to earn accreditation through the NCA CASI, NWAC, or SACS CASI accreditation divisions of AdvancED.

“Primrose is honored to work with AdvancED on this effort to advance excellence in early childhood education,” says Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools. “The early years are so critical to a child’s future success – research shows that what children learn at a young age impacts how well they will do in school, in a career and even in future relationships. AdvancED’s new Standards mark an important step forward in improving the quality of learning, development and care during those pivotal first years.”

When Primrose Schools first earned accreditation 16 years ago, it found that the process greatly influenced the continued improvement of its strong, research-based Balanced Learning® curriculum and internal quality assurance program. Primrose currently holds Corporation Accreditation through AdvancED and was the first early childhood organization to require all schools to obtain individual school accreditation.

The AdvancED Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools represent the continued evolution of accreditation as a powerful tool for propelling effective practices. The Standards are research-based, comprehensive and describe conditions that are necessary for early learning schools to achieve organizational effectiveness and ensure young children learn and grow. They will challenge early learning schools to commit to the care and educational well-being of young children, reach higher, examine closer, and demonstrate the fidelity and integrity of best practices in early learning.

“We’re proud of our leadership and commitment to delivering the highest-quality early childhood education through the standards-based, research-driven Balanced Learning curriculum. Our partnership with AdvancED on the new accreditation protocol will help raise the bar for quality early childhood education for all children,” said Primrose Schools President and CEO Jo Kirchner.

“We seek to serve institutions that are dedicated to a standards-based approach to quality improvement for the ultimate benefit of their students,” said Mark A. Elgart, Ed.D., President and CEO of AdvancED. “With the strong results Primrose has shown over the years, we are pleased to have them pilot the Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools.”

About AdvancED

AdvancED offers school improvement and accreditation services to education providers of all types in their pursuit of excellence in serving students. AdvancED operates three regional accrediting agencies, accrediting 30,000 institutions in over 70 countries serving over 16 million students. AdvancED is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).

Accreditation is a process of helping institutions improve through a systematic program of evaluation, assuring that an institution not only meets quality standards, but also that it demonstrates a continuous commitment to providing quality education programs that are aimed at improving student performance.

For more information, please visit www.advanc-ed.org.

About Primrose Schools

Founded in 1982, Primrose Schools is the nation’s leader in providing well-rounded early childhood education and nurturing child care services in more than 240 schools in 17 states. The foundation for Primrose Schools is based on a dedicated and passionate group of early childhood professionals providing high quality education with a balance of learning, character development and play.

Primrose Schools offers the Balanced Learning® curriculum, which blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and is consistently delivered in all Primrose schools nationwide. This exclusive curriculum is standards-based and enables teachers to help children build a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to move successfully from one level of development to the next.

Primrose is the first preschool organization in the country to require all of its schools to become SACS CASI or NCA CASI accredited. Primrose Schools stands behind its commitment to deliver an exceptional early childhood experience with the Primrose Guarantee, a parent’s assurance of complete satisfaction. For more information, visit www.PrimroseSchools.com.

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