NICEVILLE — Northwest Florida State College’s Mary Lou O’Conner Child Development and Education Center was recently reaffirmed for accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, purportedly the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children’s learning.

The center earned eight scores of 100 percent and one score of 99 percent in the nine areas reviewed.

"We are honored to have received this re-accreditation," said Dian Baldock, director of the Mary Lou O’Conner Child Development and Education Center at Northwest Florida State College. "It is through our continuous improvement efforts, team work with our staff and the college’s Early Childhood Education program, and college administration that we are able to continue providing the highest-quality care for the children at our center.

"The children come first, and we enjoy every minute of working with them."

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of research-based standards to collaborate with early-education programs to recognize and drive quality improvement in high-quality early-learning environments.

"We are beyond proud of the team at the Child Development and Education Center," said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President. "This distinction from NAEYC shows the center’s commitment to excellence and dedication to reaching the highest professional standards."

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the NWF State CDEC went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria.

NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts five years.