Marybeth Hoffman’s KinderCare center in Bettendorf, Iowa, may hold the company record for longest continuous NAEYC accreditation. Since 1999, she and her staff have worked tirelessly to maintain their high quality program.
When Marybeth first decided to embark on her accreditation journey, she and her team stayed in the self-study phase for several years before powering through and finishing the process. But years of self-study really helped the center realize the progress they were making by going through the steps of accreditation.
“You don’t realize how far your program has come until you look back at it,” said Marybeth.
And though it was nerve-wracking to see their first NAEYC assessor arrive at the center door, the hard work they’d been doing for years was about to pay off.
“We were so scared and nervous, but the assessor said, ‘I’m here to be the eyes and ears of NAEYC and validate everything you do every day for these children,’” said Marybeth. “A few weeks later, we were accredited.”
Marybeth says she was most inspired to pursue accreditation so that her families would know Bettendorf KinderCare provided the best program they possibly could.
And to this day, Marybeth has maintained that level of commitment to accreditation.
“It’s hard to maintain the NAEYC standard,” she said. “The journey is never done.”
With KinderCare approaching its goal of all eligible centers being accredited, Marybeth is more excited than ever for the opportunity to increase the quality of KinderCare programs across the board.
“I’m ecstatic about KinderCare’s accreditation goals,” she said. “NAEYC accreditation makes a huge difference in your center—and there’s no way to memorize it, you learn by doing.”
According to Marybeth, going through the NAEYC accreditation and renewal process just becomes part of your daily routine.
For centers new to accreditation or accreditation renewal, Marybeth has some helpful tips:
- “Utilize all of the tools you are given” like the Quality & Accreditation page on KLCentral, and the Quality & Accreditation team’s support system at the NSC
- “Take it step-by-step”
- “Don’t give up, just keep moving forward”
- “Celebrate your team”