Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA). We have gathered the answers to the questions most frequently asked by providers as they engage in the accreditation and renewal process. If your question is not addressed on this page, please contact the NECPA Team at 855-706-3272 or email [email protected].

My program is enrolled! What happens now?

Now comes the truly rewarding process of Self Study. Your program’s Enrollment Packet will be delivered soon, and you will have the tools you need to get started:

  • NECPA Enrollment Letter – To be presented to any state agency or other organization as evidence of your two-year enrollment term seeking NECPA accreditation
  • NECPA Resource Guide and Standards Book
  • NECPA Self Assessment Instrument
  • NECPA Documentation Labels

How long should programs engage in the self study phase?

The enrollment period lasts for two years and programs can use this entire period to engage in Self Study. Most programs going through accreditation for the first time need approximately six months to one year to implement changes and complete the Self Assessment Instrument. However, the self-study process allows you to work at your own pace. No matter what your program’s timeline goals, the NECPA Office team is committed to assisting you throughout the process.

Is my program required to utilize the sample logs and procedures in the Resource Guide section of the Standards Book?

The use or implementation of logs, forms, and procedure sheets found in the Resource Guide section of the 2017 edition of the NECPA Standards Book is not required. These resources are intended to serve as an example of acceptable documents. If a program would like to model their own logs and procedures after these examples, it is acceptable but not required. Programs should ensure that any existing logs, forms, and procedure sheets include the information established in the applicable standard.

Which questions am I required to answer in the Self Assessment Instrument?

Please ensure that you answer by circling 'Yes,' 'No,' or 'N/A' to all questions in the Self Assessment Instrument (SAI), Part A – Documentation (yellow section) and Part B – Observation (blue section). Programs that have questions unanswered, (items are not circled in the Instrument), on the day of the visit may be considered unprepared for a visit and the verifier may find it necessary to end the visit early.

The goal during self study is to fully align your program policies, practices, and procedures with the NECPA standards. Start working with a pencil as you first go through the book because your answers may change overtime as you make changes.

What if I answer “No” to a question in the Self Assessment Instrument?

The goal is to get your “No” answers to become “Yes” answers. You should only utilize the “N/A” option if an item is truly not applicable— for example, if the item relates to infants, but your program does not serve that age group.

How do I set up the documentation files for the yellow section of the Self Assessment Instrument?

Many directors utilize a documentation box or documentation binder to organize the files pertaining to the yellow section of the Self Assessment Instrument. The most important item to remember when organizing your files is that you utilize the documentation labels which are provided in your initial enrollment packet. If documentation is not organized using these labels the review process will take much longer and the verifier may choose to end the verification visit as you would be considered unprepared. Be sure to have the policy or procedure that pertains to the item number in each file of the documentation box/binder.

How do I know if I’m ready to request a verification visit?

Programs are ready to request a visit when the following requirements are met:

  1. Program has answered all questions in the Self Assessment Instrument;
  2. Program has compiled the required documentation in a filing system using the NECPA documentation labels;
  3. Program has collected the necessary percentage of Parent and Staff Surveys

Additionally, please ensure the facility itself as well as teacher to child interactions, and program operations are fully aligned with the NECPA standards.

  • Example Scenario: As you are engaged in self study, if you notice a staff member in a 2-year old room is having trouble with diaper changing, please assist this staff member with additional training so that you can be sure they are meeting the NECPA standard regularly and during the verification visit.

How do I request a verification visit for my program?

The process to submit a verification visit is very simple! Request a visit is by submitting the electronic form along with payment HERE.

If you need help with the online submission, please contact the office at 855-706-3272.

How long will it take for my program's verification visit to be scheduled?

The time frame to receive a NECPA verification visit is within 120 days of the submission of the request and fee. Although the process does not often take the full 120 days, you should plan for this timeframe when anticipating the completion of your accreditation assessment, verification visit and National Accreditation Council review.

If you are hoping to complete the verification visit on a shorter time frame, you have the option to expedite the scheduling process for an additional fee ($550.00). Expediting this timeframe changes the time frame from a guaranteed visit date within 120 days to within 60 days of the submission of the expedited scheduling request.

(Optional) Expedited Verification Visit Request Form.

My verification visit is complete! How long will it take to receive my NECPA National Accreditation Council review result?

Because programs are reviewed on a rolling basis, the time frame to receive your NECPA National Accreditation result is 8 weeks from your visit date. If you are hoping to complete the review on a shorter time frame, you have the option to expedite the process for an additional fee ($300.00) and shorten the review time to 2 weeks from the date the NECPA Office has both the visit materials and the expedited request. 

(Optional) Expedited National Accreditation Council (NAC) Result.

What are the possible accreditation results my program could receive?

There are four possible National Accreditation Council results.

  1. Full Accreditation – Nearly 80 percent of our programs receive their accreditation award after their first Council review.
  2. Pending – Pending status requires submission of additional documentation for review before a program may attain Full Accreditation.
  3. Deferred with Items – This deferral requires substantial additional documentation be submitted for review along with the deferral fee of $325 before a program may attain Full Accreditation.
  4. Deferred with Revisit – A Deferral with a Revisit requires an additional verification visit before a program may attain full accreditation. This means that there were several substantial items that the verifier could not verify during the initial verification visit and the NECPA Council members feel a secondary visit must take place for the center to achieve full accreditation. The fee for a Deferral with a Revisit status is $1045. Any center that receives this status has the option to submit an appeal to the decision.

What should I do if I have questions throughout the process?

Call the NECPA office! The NECPA Accreditation Team is here to help you as you go through the self-study process. If questions arise please, reach out via email or phone and we are happy to help. And remember, staff and families are a program’s greatest assets—be sure to involve everyone in the accreditation process!