Aspen preschool The Cottage earns national accreditation | AspenTimes.com

Aspen preschool The Cottage earns national accreditation

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

The Cottage, the Aspen School District's preschool, learned Tuesday that the school earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's leading organization of early-childhood professionals.

"I've been on cloud nine since learning we earned this," said Christina Holloway, the director of The Cottage. "We're so proud to be reaching the highest standard in early-childhood education."

To earn the accreditation, The Cottage went through an extensive self-study process that measured the school program against 10 national early-childhood program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The application, from start to finish, took 21/2 years.

"We had to apply with all of our teachers' and administration's qualifications," Holloway said. "We also had on-site visits from the association's assessors. It was quite a long and detailed process."

In the 25 years since the association accreditation was established, nearly 7,000 programs, or roughly 8 percent of the preschool and early-childhood programs in the United States, have been accredited.

"Studies prove that the brain connections made in the first few years of life set a child's path for success in school and in life," said Rhian Evans Allvin, executive director of the association, via email with The Cottage. "That's why quality educators are so crucial. For parents and caregivers of young children who are searching for a high-quality early-learning experience, The Cottage's accreditation is a sign that it offers a high-quality education in a nurturing and stimulating environment."

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Programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children for a five-year period.

mmclaughlin@aspentimes.com

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