Once a program has achieved Accredited Member, they enter the maintenance phase of accreditation and embark on a six (6) year cycle. Each year of the cycle is marked with a review of the program’s dashboard and portfolio. Over the course of the six years, all aspects of the program, curriculum, and operations will be assessed. In addition to a pre-determined focus of review for each year of the cycle, reviewers may seek additional information about the center and its programs.
Years of the Cycle
- Year 1, Year 2, Year 4, Year 5
In each of these years, programs will have a review of their Dashboard, an overarching review of the portfolio (the Part I Review Checklist), and a Deep Dive into a specific element of the portfolio. These reviews are conducted by volunteer committee members, with reports submitted to the Accreditation Commission. The Accreditation Commission will determine on an annual basis which Portfolio components will be examined in a given year. The Commission shall provide programs with a minimum of six months notice of the focus of the next year’s review. Please note that although only a portion of the portfolio will be officially reviewed, the entire portfolio must be available to the Accreditation Commission at any time.
- Year 3 – Mid-Cycle
Like years 1, 2, 4, and 5, programs will have a review of their Dashboard, an overarching review of the portfolio (the Part I Review Checklist) to ensure that all items are up to date in the portfolio, and a Focused Portfolio Review. (see Year 1, Year 2, Year 4, Year 5 above for more information). During Year 3, each program will participate in a one-person peer consultation. The purpose is to offer collegial and collaborative consultation on an aspect of the program. Centers, with the assistance of their assigned Accreditation Commissioner, will arrange for their peer visit and set the agenda for the consultation. The program’s educator will add a one page reflection on the consultation to the program’s portfolio. This is not an official accreditation site visit, but rather one for building collegiality and developing external relationships.
- Year 6
The final year of the accreditation cycle consists of a self-study completed by the program, a comprehensive portfolio review, and a three member visit. National Site Team chairs and site team members are trained and selected by the Accreditation Commission. Upon completion of the review, the site team sends its initial report to the program, whereupon the program responds. The site team then sends its final report to the Accreditation Commission for review. After reviewing the site team’s final report, the Accreditation Commission will take action. See 6 year Site Visit Plan for more information.