NAEYC Standards for Associate Degree Programs
Standard I, Promoting Child Development and Learning
Students prepared in associate degree programs use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences of children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.
- Key Element 1a: Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs.
- Key Element 1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning.
- Key Element 1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments.
Standard II, Building Family and Community Relationships
Students prepared in associate degree programs know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
- Key Element 2a: Knowing about and understanding family and community characteristics.
- Key Element 2b: Supporting and empowering families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
- Key Element 2c: Involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning.
Standard III, Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
Students prepared in associate degree programs know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment, They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.
- Key Element 3a: Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
- Key Element 3b: Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches.
- Key Element 3c: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment.
- Key Element 3d: Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and other professionals.
Standard IV, Teaching and Learning
Students prepared in associate degree programs integrate their understanding of and relationships with children and families; their understanding of developmentally effective approaches to teaching and learning; and their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all young children.
- Sub-Standard 4a, Connecting with Children and Families: Students know, understand, and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children.
- Key Element 4a: Knowing, understanding, and using positive relationships and supportive interactions.
- Sub-Standard 4b, Using Developmentally Effective Approaches: Students know, understand, and use a wide array of effective approaches, strategies, and tools to positively influence children’s development and learning.
- Key Element 4b: Knowing, understanding, and using effective approaches, strategies, and tools for early education.
- Sub-Standard 4c, Understanding Content Knowledge in Early Education: Students understand the importance of each of content area in young children’s learning. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding.
- Key Element 4c: Knowing and understanding the importance, central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
- Sub-Standard 4d: Building Meaning Curriculum: Students use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for all young children.
- Key Element 4d: Using our knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum to promote positive outcomes.
Standard V, Becoming a Professional
Students prepared in associate degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
- Key Element 5a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field.
- Key Element 5b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines.
- Key Element 5c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice.
- Key Element 5d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.
- Key Element 5e: Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession.
NAEYC Supportive Skills
- Supportive Skills 1, Skills in Self-Assessment and Self-Advocacy
- Supportive Skill 2, Skills Mastering and Applying Foundational Concepts from General Education.
- Supportive Skill 3, Skills in Written and Verbal Communication
- Supportive Skill 4, Skills in Making Connections Between Prior Knowledge/Experience and New Learning
- Supportive Skill 5, Skills in Identifying and Using Professional Resources
For more information, about NAEYC and its accreditations, visit the website