The choice between accreditation and licensure in early childhood education may indeed be quite difficult for parents. First, I would like to draw a line between these two terms and what they mean. Accreditation ensures that the educational facility meets the quality standards set by the respected authorities in the field, and it applies only to independent organizations not affiliated with governmental structures. Licensure, in turn, can only be approved by federal structures, and its primary role is to permit professionals to work officially, while also confirming their knowledgeability and skill. Both are important to early childhood education, as they provide the parents with the much-needed affirmation that their children will care for properly. Manning et al. (2017) even suggest that “The professionalization of the early childhood sector may lead to significant gains for children and their families, contributing towards life-long outcomes that will benefit all of society” (p. 11). I understand Maria’s confusion about the terms, so I would like to properly explain to her what are the benefits of an accredited childhood education center.
While licensure is mostly about getting official approval to work, accreditation leans more towards the real evaluation of a professional’s knowledge and skills. Deciding on getting accreditation as an early childhood education center for my school, I can get a verification of my school’s qualifications from respected organizations, and not only simple permission to work. Moreover, with accreditation, I officially state that not only I, but the staff of my school is qualified for the job as well. The accreditation suggests that my staff and the building of my school and other aspects meet the high standards set by the authorized and well-known organizations. In my opinion, accreditation suits an early childhood center better, as it is, in fact, a document that secures the quality of the facility. I would like to suggest that Maria looks more into the differences between accreditation and licensure so that she is sure that my school would provide her child with the best care possible.
Manning, M., Garvis, S., Fleming, C., & Wong, G. T. W. (2017). The relationship between teacher qualification and the quality of the early childhood education and care environment. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 13(1), 1–82. Web.