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OHU education centers recognized for top-quality programs

Two One Hope United early education centers recently earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Chicago-based Edgewater Early Learning Center and the Elgin Child and Family Resource Center in Elgin, Ill., were given the seal of approval from the association’s academy, which sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs — serving children from birth to 8 years old. The academy accredits programs that meet those standards.

“Fewer than 10 percent of programs achieve this milestone,” said Beth Lakier, associate executive director of Chicago-area day care centers at One Hope United.

The process includes evaluating classroom interactions, environments, staff qualifications, parent relationships and a variety of administrative requirements, she said.

“To meet all of these requirements is truly an incredible achievement, which demonstrates that OHU programs are providing best practices based on early childhood standards,” Lakier added.

Ten of the 11 One Hope United child development center programs now carry NAEYC accreditation. The recently opened Aurora Early Learning center will be eligible to apply for accreditation in September.