PULLMAN, Wash. — The National Association for the Education of Young Children recently granted accreditation to Washington State University’s Children Center, an honor bestowed to only some 7 percent of early childhood programs nationwide. The accreditation demonstrates the center’s commitment to all aspects of childhood development, health and safety, and staff and child relationships.

To receive the three-year accreditation, the Children’s Center underwent an intensive self-study, collecting information from parents, teachers and administrators before they received an on-site evaluation from NAEYC professionals.

“The heart of NAEYC accreditation focuses on the child’s experience,” said Mary Ellen Radziemski, director of the Children’s Center. “The greatest emphasis of the evaluation is on the children’s relationships with the staff and how the program helps each child to grow and learn intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally.”

NAEYC is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of early childhood professionals dedicated to the improvement of early childhood education. The organization began accreditation in 1985 in response to the uneven and often inadequate consumer protection afforded by the state licensing of childcare facilities.

The WSU Children’s Center, located on Olympia Avenue, will display the NAEYC torch, the symbol of NAEYC accreditation. The Children’s Center serves 160 children of WSU students, staff and faculty. The children range from 6-week-olds to 12-year-olds.