If you own or are thinking about starting a daycare business or are a child care professional, it is important to network and continually educate yourself. Joining and participating in child care associations enhances your knowledge of child development and developmentally appropriate practices. Professional organizations are also a great avenue for networking with other child care professionals around the world and exchanging thoughts.
Child care associations also provide a great opportunity to exercise leadership. Mostly, it is important to be around other early childhood education professionals who are daycare providers and want to provide quality care. Consider joining a few of the most important national child care associations:
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): the NAEYC is the largest nonprofit association in the United States dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, particularly the quality of both educational and developmental services for all children ages 8 and under. The NAEYC hosts world’s largest early education conference. The NAEYC also holds an accreditation system by which early childhood education programs can voluntarily measure themselves in terms of educational standards, as well as health and safety standards. Membership includes six electronic issues of their publication Young Children, six print issues of Young Children or five print issues of Teaching Young Children for the Preschool Professional, discounts on NAEYC conferences and seminars, and discounts on books and videos.
National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP): The NACCP is an important association for daycare businesses. The NAACP’s focus is on improving, enhancing and strengthening the credibility of leaders in the child care profession by providing membership services and benefits. Memberships include discounts from Child Care Information Exchange like workshops, publications, and online education units. In addition, you will receive discounts on professional training and access to a variety of child care resources
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC): the NAFCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. The NAFCC sponsors the only nationally recognized Family Child Care Accreditation System. Membership benefits include training and technical support for state and local associations, discounts on conferences, publications, and products, and advocacy.
National Child Care Association (NCCA): The National Child Care Association’s goal is to promote the growth and safeguard the interest of quality early childhood care and education. The NCCAs’ focus is on licensed, private providers of these services. The NCCA is known for its professional development resources.
Canadian Association of Young Children (CAYC): In Canada, The CAYC is a well established national organization which provides a voice for critical issues related to the quality of life for young children and families. It allows early childhood communities to support one another in providing developmentally appropriate programs for young children and creates opportunities for professional development for child care professionals. Members receive Members receive the journal “Children’s Children” twice yearly as well as newsletters and special rates for both national and regional conferences.
Be sure to check for associations at the state or city level. For example, in California you may want to join the California Association for Family childcare (CAFCC). In addition to joining childcare associations, you should be aware of daycare licensing and regulations in your state.
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