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GOOD vs. GREAT: What's the difference?

Best National Accreditation Assistance

Imagine a place where every child's curiosity is nurtured and celebrated, and their potential is recognized and cherished. This is the difference that a GREAT childcare program possesses – the ability to truly spark joy and inspire little hearts every single day.


Here at ECE Circle Time, we believe that one of the key elements that can transform a good childcare program into a GREAT one is achieving national accreditation for Early Childhood Education (ECE) and childcare. Accreditation is a stamp of excellence, a symbol of dedication to providing the highest quality of care and education for our little ones. It shows that the program has not only met but exceeded, rigorous standards in areas such as curriculum, health and safety, teacher qualifications, and family engagement. Because of this, the staff has the confidence that they can handle any challenges that comes their way in the program.


Here are the top five characteristics that make a nationally accredited childcare program GREAT:


  1. Quality Standards - Meets rigorous quality standards in areas such as curriculum, health and safety, staff qualifications, and family engagement, ensuring effective and efficient levels of care and education.

  2. Staff Qualifications - Hires staff with higher qualifications, often creates an updated implementation plan for ongoing professional development and specialized training in early childhood education.

  3. Curriculum and Learning Environment - Utilizes a well-developed, research-based curriculum that promotes comprehensive and holistic child development, including cognitive, emotional, and social growth.

  4. Family Engagement and Communication - Prioritizes strong family engagement, with regular communication, family involvement activities, and resources to support children's development at home.

  5. Health and Safety Practices - Adheres to stringent health and safety guidelines, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for children. A nationally accredited program goes beyond just applying the Clean-As-You-Go (CAYGO) principle. It ensures that the child's environment not only supports their development but also provides a sense of security—physically, socially, and emotionally—while they learn.

  6. Bonus: During challenging times, they remain calm and know exactly what to do and how to do it! – We at ECE Circle Time witnessed this first hand! During our visits and after we implemented our programs, the childcare staff are more resilient, confident, and even proactive in times of challenges. We witnessed the difference and we are proud of being part of their success!


Know the difference between a good and a great ECE and childcare program! Evaluate the following: Are they following national standards? Do they employ the best staff and take good care of them? Is their curriculum efficient and effective? Do they prioritize strong family engagement? Do they provide a secure and safe learning environment?

With this knowledge in hand, next time you check out a childcare program, you'll confidently distinguish whether it's good or truly GREAT!

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