Major Organizations That Are Dedicated To Early Childhood Education
Because of its importance, 'early childhood education' is a much researched and widely discussed topic. Many are of the opinion that if the development of a child's fundamental skills and abilities are impaired from the start, it can grossly affect the child's learning potential in the future and the damage may even last a lifetime. As a result of this concern various organizations have sprouted all over the country advocating early childhood education. The more prominent of these organizations are listed below.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
The NAYEC has almost 80,000 members with a national network of 300 affiliates. Dedicated to working in behalf of children through 8 years of age, NAEYC sets the standards for programs and teachers involved in early childhood education. With its large membership and clout they are able to influence the government's policy direction on matters pertaining to early childhood education such as funding for early childhood programs, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the re-authorization of the Child Care & Development Block Grant.
NAEYC sets the standards and norms for early childhood education programs and issues the proper accreditation to programs meeting these standards.
Heralded as champions of children and families, the Parent as Teachers serves as a model for home visiting programs aimed at enhancing the school readiness of children by reaching out to them during their critical formative years. They develop curricula for early childhood development and train other professionals how to work with parents to promote the healthy development of the child and prepare them for school.
PACE is a California based non-profit organization established in 1955 and operates state wide. It advocates for the welfare and education of young children by offering programs and curriculums on early childhood education to help members grow professionally. PACE issues licensing regulations and provides resources and services for early childhood education professionals.
Coalition of Infant /Toddler Educators
CITE is another organization that promotes quality infant and toddler care. Based in New Jersey, they aim to promote child welfare through collaboration with other professionals, providing them development opportunities, and other support and services.
Children's Defense Fund
This is another child advocacy organization that champions policies and programs aimed at uplifting the plight of poor children and ensure they have access to health care and quality education. CDF has been in existence for the past 35 years pursuing their mission of ensuring that every child gets a "Healthy Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, a Head Start, and a Moral Start" in Life.
National Infant and Toddler Care Initiative
NITCCI is a project of the Office of Child Care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In collaboration with the Child Care and Development Fund, NITCCI has resources and publications pertaining to 'Early Care and Education System Building', Early Learning Guidelines, and many other resources pertaining to child care.
First Children's Finance
Apart from providing educational resources, FCF provides financial assistance or loans to businesses engaged in child care and early education. FCF also finances new family child care homes and schools (to include Head Start).
American Associate Degree Early Childhood Educators
ACCESS is a non-profit organization that supports associate degree programs that provide professional development to those who teach and care for young children from birth through 8.
Association for Child and Youth Care Practice, Inc.
ACYCP is an umbrella organization whose members include state and regional organizations, child and youth care agencies, and professionals involved with child care. They have a national certification program granting national professional child and youth care credentials to child and youth care workers meant to improve child care standards in the country. These are just some of the prominent organizations dedicated to early childhood education and care. There are more which operates on state wide basis and they are simply too many to include here.