Once you have an established child care program you should consider taking your quality program up a notch by becoming accredited. We won’t spend much time on the topic now, but review the material so you can consider it once you are established.
WFCCA strives to support family child care providers in achieving high levels of quality care as well as support the success of their businesses. As a NAFCC Affiliate, we recognize the value in achieving national accreditation and have created an Accreditation Project to provide sup- port to providers seeking this accomplishment. We provide training, peer-mentoring services and scholarships to ensure all providers get the resources they need to be successful!
There are many benefits to becoming nation- ally accredited but the one most providers report is that they did it for themselves—as a personal accomplishment to validate the hard work they put into their programs. These providers strive to be “the best they can be” and appreciate the recognition from a national body that certifies their high level of quality.
WFCCA provides scholarships to cover half the cost of Self Study ($150) and the full cost of final application ($500). YoungStar mini-grants may also be used to cover accreditation costs.
Is it hard?
Wisconsin already has a high threshold for quality built into our licensing standards so most Wisconsin providers find they are already in compliance with many of the Accreditation Standards. Providers who have had a commitment to quality within their program often are able to complete the process with minimal improvements. For providers just starting out in their journey to quality, the Benchmarks to Quality used in Self Study help break down the standards to manageable steps so small goals can be set and the provider can stay comfortable with the pace. There is no deadline for Self Study, a provider can take the time they need for each step.
NAFCC Accreditation is an approved “alternate path” within YoungStar. What this means is that rather than being evaluated by the point system (which includes the FCCERS assessment), the provider simply sends in their Accreditation Certificate and their Registry Level to determine their star level. All Accredit- ed providers are automatically 4 Stars, and can achieve 5 Stars with the appropriate Registry Level. YoungStar TCs can offer support to providers in the Self Study process and help them to set goals and make improvement to help them meet the NAFCC Standards.
Achieving 4 or 5 Stars in YoungStar through the accreditation path qualifies providers for higher reimbursement rates when serving subsidy children. 5 Star providers are also eligible for a 25% bonus to their subsidy payments for being accredited. Regardless of whether they serve subsidy children, accredited providers report setting up to 25% higher rates for their programs than non-accredited providers. Parents look for and appreciate this high level of quality and this makes the providers program more marketable, filling openings faster and bringing in more income for the provider. And, as stated earlier, one of the biggest benefits is that the provider feels respected and recognized for their hard work and achievements towards quality care!
Absolutely! WFCCA offers a full day NAFCC Accreditation training at many locations throughout the state in both the spring and fall where we take a close look at the process and the standards. See the WFCCA website for dates and locations. NAFCC also hosts many accreditation webinars about specific steps in the process. See the NAFCC website for more information. And finally, both WFCCA and NAFCC host accreditation workshops at their annual conferences. If you are a member of a local support group and would like a WFCCA representative to come to your meeting to share information with your members please contact the Project Coordinator to schedule.