Lena Pope’s Early Learning Center, which serves children ages six weeks to five years and is located on the Fort Worth campus of The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC), has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is one of the world’s largest organizations working on behalf of young children.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 6,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC; less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally – and less than one percent in Texas – achieve this recognition. Of the 143,501 licensed child care centers in Texas, only 275 received NAEYC Accreditation.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Lena Pope Early Learning Center – HSC went through an extensive self-study process followed by an on-site visit by a NAEYC assessor to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 research-based program standards and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-Accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

In addition to the newly accredited HSC campus, located at 3620 Modlin Ave in Fort Worth, Lena Pope operates a second NAEYC-accredited Early Learning Center at 3200 Sanguinet Street in Fort Worth.

“We’re proud to have both Centers recognized by NAEYC for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Mariah Hubbard, Director of Early Learning Programs at Lena Pope. “Our staff worked extremely hard to achieve this mark of quality, which benefits children, families, and our entire community.”

“At Lena Pope, we are committed to excellence and are proud to be providing the highest quality early childhood education to children and families in our community. Our students’ development and growth are our highest priority,” said Jennifer Carpenter, LCSW, Chief Program Officer at Lena Pope.

Lena Pope’s two Early Learning Centers serve a total of 188 children, ages six weeks to five years. The centers provide full-day and full-year care with a commitment to making the program accessible and affordable to families of all backgrounds. Up to 40% of available slots are reserved for families who qualify for financial assistance through child care subsidies or sliding scale tuition fees.

“NAEYC-Accredited programs have committed to a process that takes time, energy, and dedication to complete,” states Alissa Mwenelupembe, Senior Director Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Lena Pope’s Early Learning Center-HSC has demonstrated their commitment to young children and their families.”

“NAEYC accreditation is considered the gold standard in early learning and ensures our students are receiving the highest quality early childhood education,” said Lena Pope CEO Ashley Elgin, Ph.D. “We value providing quality, compassionate care and believe wholeheartedly in continually leading with excellence, which is why our staff worked so diligently to ensure both of our Early Learning Centers achieved NAEYC standards. Our goal is for each of our students to be prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond. We are thrilled Lena Pope operates two of the seven Fort Worth NAEYC accredited locations.”

Lena Pope equips children, families, caregivers, and community with a strong foundation through counseling, education, and behavior interventions. Since 1930, Lena Pope has worked to improve child well-being in Tarrant County. Lena Pope provides evidence-based, research- tested programs focusing on prevention and early intervention services that support child development and improve the behavioral and mental health of children and families. For more information, visit LenaPope.org.

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