WHAT IS PATHS TO QUALITY™ or PTQ?
Paths to QUALITY™ or PTQ encourages early care and education professionals to enhance their business by providing knowledge, training, and guidance in providing higher quality care.
- It identifies four levels of high quality care and establishes the requirements to meet those levels
- It provides incentives to advance to the next level of care
- It provides a Coach to help walk you through the process
- It provides a referral system that helps parents locate participating Paths to QUALITY™ providers like you
Best of all, Paths to QUALITY™ is a free resource, and it’s easy to do! You can participate using our easy, self-guided workbook or a Paths to QUALITY™ Coach can walk you through the process. Once you’re in, you can use the available Toolkit for materials to help promote your business.
WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF QUALITY?
Quality experiences that promote children’s healthy growth and development are provided at each level of Paths to QUALITY™. As early care and education professionals move from one level to the next, these opportunities increase.
Starting with meeting basic health and safety needs at Level One and topping out with national accreditation at Level Four, each quality level is tailored to suit the needs of licensed centers, family child care homes, unlicensed registered ministries, and public schools. The system awards professionals for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality.
Level 1 – Health and Safety
Level 1 programs have demonstrated that they are operating in good standing and have been recognized by the state of Indiana as having met all required health and safety standards.
Level 2 – Learning Environments
Level 2 programs have demonstrated a commitment to improve program quality. They offer opportunities for children to advance their growth and development. Level 2 programs will have evidence of a consistent daily schedule, planned activities for children, and will provide relevant program information for families.
Level 3 – Planned Curriculum
Level 3 programs have demonstrated the knowledge and skill necessary for planning appropriate activities and opportunities that lead children toward school readiness.
Level 3 programs have made a significant investment in the professional development of the staff, and they incorporate family and staff input into the program.
Level 4 – National Accreditation
Level 4 programs are the highest rated programs and have demonstrated a commitment to the highest level of professionalism in high quality child care—achievement of a nationally recognized accreditation. Level 4 programs are managed by a provider or director who has volunteered to provide mentoring to others in the field.
WHAT IS NATIONAL ACCREDITATION?
Accreditation is a voluntary process whereby early care and education facilities can improve the quality of their programs. Accreditation is one measure of quality many families look for when choosing an early education facility for their children. Accreditation ensures that staff are prepared to meet families’ needs and are committed to ongoing evaluation
ACCREDITED EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS PROVIDE:
- Excellent Education
- Professional Staff
- High Standards
WHO BENEFITS FROM NATIONAL ACCREDITATION?
Young children in accredited programs receive nurturing care in a safe, healthy environment that is respectful of their cultural backgrounds. Children participate in enriching educational activities with resources most appropriate for their age, development and individual needs.
Accreditation helps families choose an educational environment for their children they can be confident is responsive, safe, and stimulating.
Accredited programs provide consistent, high- quality settings that directly improve employee attendance, morale and productivity.
By offering exceptionally high quality early care and education, accredited programs help to strengthen families, build more vibrant neighborhoods and create stronger communities.
WHAT ARE THE APPROVED NATIONAL ACCREDITING BODIES FOR INDIANA?
Currently five national accreditations are approved by the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning for funding and technical assistance from the Indiana Accreditation Project. To learn more about the five approved national accrediting bodies and to review the eligibility guidelines established by each, click the links below.
- National Association for the Education for Young Children www.naeyc.org
- National Association for Family Child Care www.nafcc.org
- National Early Childhood Program Accreditation www.necpa.net
- Council of Accreditation -Early Child Care and Development Services and After School www.coanet.org
- Association of Christian Schools International – Early Childhood www.acsi.org
To learn more about the eligibility requirements for an Indiana Accreditation Project accreditation scholarship and to apply, click here.
WHAT ACCREDITATION CRITERIA AM I ALREADY MEETING?
Paths to QUALITY™ into NAEYC Accreditation Standards
Paths to QUALITY™ into NAFCC Accreditation Standards
Paths to QUALITY™ into NECPA Accreditation Standards
For more information or to share this information, please click here to download the Indiana Accreditation Project Brochure.