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Program and Partners

Program and Partners


The Four Steps to Excellence 2.0

One Childhood, One Chance

Educational First Steps’ Four Steps to Excellence 2.0 program places childcare centers on the path to national accreditation from two of the most rigorous accrediting agencies – the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Accreditation Commission of Early Care and Education (NAC).

In about 36 months, childcare centers earn accreditation at no cost to them or to parents.  Once accredited, these childcare centers provide the highest-quality early education to those children enrolled in their programs.

EFS’ quality pathway program provides a continuum of evaluation, mentoring, training and resource services, delivered through a progressive four-step process:

Phase 1: Discovery (4 months)

  • The center, director, and staff undergo an evaluation to establish a baseline of quality.
  • EFS and the childcare center build terms for a healthy go-forward working relationship.

Phase 2: Foundation (about 24 months)

  • EFS delivers multi-dimensional training aimed at helping teachers master the best practices in safety, social-emotional health and pre-academic learning.

Phase 3: Readiness (about 12 months)

  • The center begins a rigorous self-study stage, assisted by EFS, in which the center demonstrates its superior quality to national early childhood experts

Phase 4: Accredited Partner

  • The center receives national accreditation and becomes a go-forward “Accredited Partner” of Educational First Steps.
  • EFS activates its Economic and Enrollment Services programs to help the center reach enrollment capacity and build sustainable economic stability.