Child Care Center receives national accreditation

By Kyle Hobstetter on July 27, 2022

Center named high-quality program with safe, nurturing environment for children

TU students working with child in Child Care Center
The Towson University Child Care Center provides early childhood education for around 100 families. It also provides on-campus experiential learning opportunities for TU students. (File Photo / Towson University) 

The Towson University Child Care Center (UCCC) provides excellent educational experiences for children aged 2–4 and 18–23 (we have graduate students too).

Sitting on the hill on South Campus, the UCCC has a lab school setting that provides early childhood education for almost 100 families. It also has around 65 college student workers who work as assistants in the six classrooms and 200 students each term—from colleges all over TU—who come to observe for their coursework.

This July, the UCCC earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as a high-quality program that provides a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the healthy development of young children.

The NAEYC is a professional membership organization that endorses high-quality early learning for young children by connecting early childhood practice, policy and research.

The UCCC, part of the College of Education (COE), has a long reputation of excellent child programming. This accreditation solidifies the hard work the staff has done over the years.

“The College of Education views accreditation as one way to ensure our work is research-based, current and meeting the needs of the children,” says Laurie Mullen, COE dean. “To be clear, the process is hard work, and the staff and administrators at the UCCC should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

NAEYC has 10 national standards for early childhood programs that distinguish the top organizations providing child care and/or schooling. To earn accreditation, programs must meet all 10 standards.

For UCCC Director Nicole Vasanth ’06, ’11, ’19 and Assistant Director Emma Auffarth ’14 ,’20 the accreditation process was long and arduous. In fact, the only reason the UCCC was able to start it was because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed them to focus solely on achieving accreditation.

The two-year process included a reflection piece, portfolios and a one-day observation where an assessor spent time in each classroom, from 7:45 a.m. until 5 p.m.

When the staff heard they passed the accreditation process with flying colors, it was during naptime, so they had to run outside to cheer.

“This is the cherry on top of a lot of hard work,” Vasanth says. “We have been doing great work for years, and, finally, we put it all on paper from one of our key officiating bodies. To measure our success by these standards set for and agreed upon by educators across the nation…It’s very validating.”

Auffarth and Vasanth can’t wait to watch as the center continues to excel as an integral part of TU.

“We see the value in what this place can be because of what it was for us and what it still is for this university,” Vasanth says. “From when we were students to now as moms, we really care about the product that we’re turning out.”