Connect with NAFCC

What is the best way to contact the NAFCC Accreditation Team?

Getting in touch with the Accreditation Team is easy and convenient. You can reach us by:

  • Email: Send an email to Accreditation@nafcc.org.
  • Call: If you prefer a friendly chat, give us a call at 202-796-5700.
  • Office Hours: The team also hosts weekly Accreditation Office Hours every Thursday at 1:30 pm EST. For more information and to register, please visit Accreditation Office Hours

The team is always eager to assist and is just a message or call away.

Hablamos en Espanol!

What type of inquiries can I ask the Accreditation Team?

We’re here to assist you and provide support! The Accreditation Team is ready to address and resolve the following:

  • Support and technical assistance with the Accreditation Portal
  • Accreditation Application status/updates
  • Observation updates/availability
  • Accreditation Award Decisions
  • Accreditation submission receipts
  • Self-Study enrollment status and Self-Study Kit delivery
  • Re-accreditation/18-month updates status
  • Accreditation extension requests (extensions are awarded at the discretion of NAFCC)
  • Fees paid by an association and Award Letters (if applicable)

What is the normal correspondence time for the accreditation department?

We’re here to help! Our Accreditation Team typically responds to calls or emails within 3-5 business days and strives to offer resolution or updates within 7 business days from your acknowledgment receipt. We appreciate your patience and look forward to assisting you!

How can I stay current on the latest news, announcements, and updates regarding NAFCC accreditation?

Accredited educators who wish to receive notifications about their NAFCC Accreditation status should sign up through the Accreditation Portal. Additionally, periodic emails from the Accreditation Team may be sent to you. It is important to check your spam folder to ensure that you do not miss any important information or requests. The most recent application forms, announcements, and general information can be found by visiting our Accreditation Resources page.

General Accreditation Questions

Am I eligible for NAFCC Accreditation?

In addition to the NAFCC Quality Standards, each candidate for accreditation must meet the following eligibility requirements before submitting an accreditation application:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED (or receive an NAFCC-granted waiver of this requirement).
  • Provide care for children for a minimum of 15 hours per week.
  • Provide care for at least three children in a home environment. At least one child must not reside in the educator’s home.
  • Meet the highest level of regulation available in the state to operate a family child care program.
  • Be in compliance with all regulations of the authorized licensing body.
  • Successfully pass the state and federal criminal history background check.
  • Be in good health with the physical stamina and mental competence to care for young children.
  • Adhere to the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct.
  • Complete at least 120 clock hours of documented family child care-related education/training

How much does NAFCC Accreditation cost?

Payment is submitted, tracked, and processed through the Accreditation Portal. If you are receiving sponsorship or scholarship funds from an agency, please direct them to NAFCC to arrange for payment. NAFCC fees are non-refundable and cannot be transferred.

Item Member Fee Non-member Fee
Self-Study Enrollment Kit $385 $550
Accreditation Application $615
Co-provider Fee $$150
$850
Co-provider Fee $200
18-Month Update $200 $240

NAFCC also offers an Accreditation Bundle. The Accreditation Bundle is only valid for five (5) years and is non-refundable and non-transferable. The Bundle includes:

  • Self-study enrollment fees
  • Accreditation Application fees
  • 18-Month Fee.

 

Member Fee Non-member Fee
$1085.00 plus *$45.00 annual membership fee $1600

NAFCC Membership is not included in the Accreditation Bundle and can be purchased separately.

What NAFCC member packages are available for purchase?

Ambassador (Previously Silver) Membership
$45 Executive (Previously Gold) Membership
$189
Discounts on NAFCC Accreditation ($425 value) Annual membership includes all Silver Membership benefits
Relevant monthly e-newsletters/public policy updates A one-year subscription to KidKare, a cloud based service to manage your family child care business OR Access to Quorum
Access to online trainings and webinars from experts in the field. Online resources ($200 value) including sample contracts & policies, permission forms, health forms, employee documents and much more
Third-party discounts from NAFCC Sponsors and Supporters Access to online trainings and webinars from experts in the field
Networking and support from national family child care leaders. Special webinars from NAFCC sponsors such as Sesame Workshop

What is a CEU? What does it mean?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is a unit of credit equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions.
1 CEU = 10 Clock hours

What is a Co-Educator?

A Co-Educator is another educator in the home (like an assistant) who is not required to live in the Family Child Care program. Co-educators must spend at least 60% of the time actively involved with the children.

Can my co-educator also be accredited?

Though co-educators are not required to be accredited, we highly recommend including one to support you and your program in adhering to the Quality Standards. The additional fee for the co-educator to be included in your accreditation process is $150.00.

Do I qualify to receive an accreditation extension?

Extensions for Accreditation are assessed and granted at the discretion of NAFCC. If you need help meeting accreditation deadlines, feel free to email us at Accreditation@NAFCC.org. Our supportive team is here for you! Additional fees will be assessed for extensions.

Are all educators required to be NAFCC members when applying for accreditation?

Family Child Care educators seeking accreditation are not mandated to be NAFCC members. However, there are significant cost benefits to becoming a member prior to entering the accreditation process. For more information on NAFCC Membership and its benefits, please visit our Membership page.

Are accreditation fees refundable?

All Accreditation fees, including the self-study kits that have already been mailed to you, are non-refundable and non-transferable. Self-study enrollment is only valid for three years beginning the date the kit is shipped out. Accreditation Bundles are valid for five (5) years. Additionally, stand-alone applications submitted for processing to the Accreditation Team are non-refundable.

I sent my payment to NAFCC via the post office, when can I expect to receive my self-study kit and/or when will my accreditation application be processed?

If payments are mailed to NAFCC, please expect it to take 4-6 weeks for the payment to be processed.  Membership, self-study kits, and accreditation applications will not be processed until after payments are processed. 

Enrolling in Self-Study

This is my 1st time applying for Accreditation. How do I apply?

To get started, first create an account on the Accreditation Portal. If you need any assistance, you can watch the Self-Registration Video Walk-through. Once you have created your account on the Accreditation Portal, go to the Self-Study tab and complete the application to enroll in Self-Study. Before enrolling, remember that you must remain in Self-Study for at least six (6) months. The Self-Study Enrollment will expire after three (3) years; candidates who do not apply within this period must start the Self-Study phase again.

How long can I remain in Self-Study?

Your Self-Study Enrollment period begins the day your Self-Study Kit is mailed out to you. You will find these updates in the Accreditation Portal. Candidates for Accreditation must remain in Self-Study for six (6) months before applying for Accreditation. The Self-Study Enrollment will expire after 3 years; candidates who do not apply for accreditation within this period must start the Self-Study phase again.

Can I apply for my Self-Study kit and Application at the same time?

No, candidates may not enroll in Self-Study and submit their Application for Accreditation at the same time. To apply for NAFCC Accreditation, candidates must first enroll in Self-Study and complete it within 6 months. They should also make sure to apply for Accreditation within 3 years of receiving their Self-Study Kits. Failure to do so will result in repeating Self-Study. Once Self-Study is completed, candidates may submit their Accreditation Application through the Accreditation Portal.

First Time Accreditation Application Submission

How much does the Accreditation/ Re-Accreditation application Cost?

In addition to the Accreditation Application, candidates must also submit:

  • NAFCC membership
  • Current state license, registration, or certification
  • Health assessment form
  • TB screening form
  • Current first aid and pediatric CPR certification
  • Federal and state criminal background review
  • Training record and verification
  • Licensing Consent Form*
  • Child Enrollment Form*
  • Program Schedule and Hours Form*

The asterisk (*) designates forms that must be completed through the Accreditation Portal. Expired documentation will not be accepted, resulting in delays in accreditation application processing. Additional fees will be assessed to continue your accreditation process.

What are the training requirements for first-time accreditation candidates?

First-time accreditation candidates need at least 120 clock hours of family child care-related professional development or training taken within the three years preceding the accreditation application. Higher education degrees count toward 120 clock-hours regardless of the completion date. The training must also meet the NAFCC core competencies and certain guidelines about content area and acceptability. For more detailed information on training requirements, please visit our 2024 Training Requirement Policy.

What components can I expect in the Accreditation Application?

All Accreditation Applications must be completed through the Accreditation Portal. Accreditation candidates will be prompted to complete the following information:

  • Educator Information
  • Co-Educator Information (N/A available)
  • Eligibility Documentation & Requirements:
    • Current state license, registration, or certification to operate an FCC home-based child care program
    • Current health assessment form
    • Current TB screening form
    • Current first aid and pediatric CPR certification
    • Current federal and state criminal background review
  • Licensing Consent (Form available on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Program Schedule and Hour Information (Form available on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Child Enrollment and Schedules (Form available on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Information for Observer
  • Candidate Eligibility – Self Certification
  • NAEYC “Code of Ethical Conduct” Commitment Statement
  • Professional Development and Training Record

I submitted my application through the Accreditation Portal. What are my next steps?

Congratulations on reaching this step! Please note that an Accreditation Application is not considered complete until you have submitted all the forms and documentation listed above and once payment has been verified. After your payment is confirmed, please allow a processing time of 4-6 weeks for your application.

You will receive an email confirming that your application has been received and is being processed. If your application is deemed complete and approved, it will be added to the queue to receive an observation. Once your application has been accepted, NAFCC will email you a survey link to confirm your NAFCC Observation preferences and other relevant information to prepare and schedule your visit.

Observation and Decision

How many children should I have enrolled for observation eligibility?

You must have at least three (3) children enrolled in your program when applying for new or reaccreditation, one of these children should reside outside of the program. At least three children must be present during the observation.

What can I expect the Observer to do during the Observation?

NAFCC wants to see a typical day during your observation visit. You will receive an overview of the observation prep in the contents of your self-study kit. Please note that NAFCC Observations may be conducted virtually on a case-by-case basis. In preparation for your observation, you should:

  • Review Standards to determine if you are fully meeting them
  • Read Instructions for Observation Preparation
  • Remind families that your visit is happening
  • Talk to Children about the visit
  • Review Enrollment Changes
  • Make sure the correct House number is on your application
  • Make sure your Co-Educator/Helper is aware of your visit.

What can I expect after my Observation Visit?

NAFCC will reach an accreditation award decision within four weeks of your Observation. To ensure there is a timely response time, please complete and submit your Observation Package within 48 hours of your scheduled NAFCC Observation. This includes:

  • Family Surveys
  • Educator- Observer Feedback Form

As a result of the decision, you may receive one of the following Accreditation award decisions:

  • Award Accreditation
  • Award Conditional Accreditation
  • Deferred Accreditation
  • Denied Accreditation

Accreditation 18-Month Update Information

How can I apply for my Update?

To get started, first create an account on the Accreditation Portal. If you need any assistance, you can watch the Self-Registration Video Walk-through. Once you have created your account on the Accreditation Portal, go to the 18-Month Update Tab and complete the form as instructed. Educators may also upload all relevant documentation directly into the Portal.

When should I apply for the 18-month Update?

Educators may submit their 18-month update within 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) before or after their Accreditation anniversary. They can refer to their Accreditation Portal for more information.

How much does the 18-Month Update application cost?

The 18-month fee for members is $200. Non-members pay a fee of $240. Annual NAFCC Membership costs $45. To learn more on how to become a member, please visit: https://nafcc.org/membership/

What documents do I need to submit for my Update?

Accredited educators are strongly recommended to visit their Accreditation Portal for individualized information on what they should include in their update in addition to the forms listed below. These documents include:

  • Completed 18-Month Application
  • Updated CPR & First Aid Certificate
  • Current FCC License
  • Updated Federal/State Mandated Background Clearance
  • Health Form
  • Current TB Screening Form
  • Quality Improvement Report
  • Professional Development or Training Report

What are the training hours & requirements for an Update?

Training certificates are not required, but it is recommended that you submit additional training hours in the Training Report. For more information on Training Requirements, please visit our Training Requirements Policy.

Will I be observed to complete the Update?

No, observations are not performed for 18-month Updates unless the Accredited Educator has moved to a new location.

Re-Accreditation Application Submission Information

How do I apply for Re-Accreditation?

Start at least six (6) months before your accreditation expiration date to ensure a smooth Accreditation Application process as some of the required documentation may take weeks to secure. Educators must complete and submit all necessary documentation in their Accreditation Portal 90 days before their Accreditation Expiration Date.

  1. First, create an account on the Accreditation Portal. If you need assistance, you can watch the Self-Registration Video Walk-through.
  2. Once your account is created, you can then apply for Accreditation by clicking on the Accreditation Application tab and filling out the required forms.
  3. Educators should also complete the Licensing Consent Form and Child Enrollment Form and verify their Program Schedule.

When should I begin my reaccreditation application?

NAFCC recommends initiating the re-accreditation process at least six (6) months before the Accreditation Expiration date. Educators should start by completing tasks such as federal and state background checks in advance to prevent delays. Please make sure to submit your application at least 90 days before the Accreditation Expiration date.

What documents do I need to submit with my application?

All Reaccreditation Applications must be completed through the Accreditation Portal. Accreditation candidates will be prompted to complete the following information:

  • Accreditation/Reaccreditation Application
  • Eligibility Documentation & Requirements:
    • Current state license, registration, or certification to operate an FCC home-based child care program
    • Current health assessment form
    • Current TB screening form
    • Current first aid and pediatric CPR certification
    • Current federal and state criminal background review
  • Licensing Consent ((This step must be completed on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Program Schedule and Hour Information (This step must be completed on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Child Enrollment and Schedules (This step must be completed on the Accreditation Portal)
  • Information for Observer
  • Candidate Eligibility – Self Certification
  • NAEYC “Code of Ethical Conduct” Commitment Statement
  • Professional Development and Training Record

What are the training hours & requirements for Re-Accreditation?

For Re-Accreditation, you must complete & submit 90 hours of training in the childcare field within the last 3 years. Please refer to the NAFCC Training Requirements (TBD) for more information.

How will I know my trainings are acceptable by NAFCC?

Training must align with NAFCC’s Core Competency areas. NAFCC assesses whether training meets accreditation criteria by carefully reviewing all submitted professional development and training records. For more information, please refer to the NAFCC Training Requirements (TBD). If you have questions about the distribution of training hours, please email accreditation@nafcc.org.

How should I record and submit my completed trainings?

Trainings must be recorded on the official NAFCC Training record form. All certificates and verifications must be attached to the form. Verification of the training must include the following:

  • Name of the educator
  • Training Topic
  • Number of hours attended
  • The signature or stamp by the instructor or institution.

A course description, transcript, or syllabus may be requested by NAFCC for verification.

Accreditation Agency Payment Options

I want to pay for an accreditation cohort on behalf of my agency. Who should I contact at NAFCC to start the process?

Agency representatives should contact Andrea Maldonado, Director of Quality Assessment and Recognition, to arrange cohorts and process payments on behalf of the cohorts.

How can I pay for my cohort’s accreditation fees?

To ensure prompt processing, Agencies may send NAFCC a “Master” Sponsorship Letter detailing the names of all FCC Educators the agency is choosing to award. This letter must also include:
Name of the agency sponsoring the educator (we recommend printing these letters on your agency’s letterhead)
Agency contact person’s name, role, and contact information
Name of the FCC Educator(s) receiving the scholarship
A bulleted list of the services the educator will receive along with the total amount
If applicable, the Scholarship (or Award) expiration date for each of the services requested.
NAFCC also requires that each awarded FCC Educator also submits a copy of their Scholarship (or Award) Letter. Please note that all sponsored educators must have a Scholarship (or Award) Letter from the sponsoring agency to process their Accreditation Applications through the NAFCC Accreditation Portal. NAFCC will process applications as they are received through the Accreditation Portal. The Scholarship Letters should include the following details:

  • Name of the agency sponsoring the educator (we recommend printing these letters on your agency’s letterhead)
  • Agency contact person’s name, role, and contact information
  • Contact information for the provider being sponsored by the agency
  • A bulleted list of the services the educator will receive, along with the total amount
  • If applicable, the Scholarship (or Award) expiration date for each requested service.

Please note that all Accreditation fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Where can I mail the payment?

We strongly recommend electronic payments. Please contact our Accounting Team at Accounting@nafcc.org for details.

How can I establish an agency prepaid account?

An organization may set up a prepaid account with NAFCC to pay for membership, self-study and accreditation. An agency/organization should schedule a meeting with the appropriate department head to determine the Prepaid Account scope of services via the following email addresses:

Membership membership@nafcc.org
Contact: Francia Wisnewski

Accreditationaccreditation@nafcc.org
Contact: Andrea Maldonado

I’ve met with the department heads, and now I’m ready to submit payment to accounting to draft an invoice. What are my next steps?

The next step entails sending the following items to accounting@nafcc.org to generate an invoice:

  • Organization/Agency’s name, address, and phone number
  • Tax ID/EIN Number
  • Accounts Payable information – contact name and email address
  • Agreed upon amount for the Pre-Paid Account

An invoice will be emailed to the funding agency, which includes a link to pay. Online payments are strongly preferred; however, the agency may print the invoice and pay with a check if necessary.

Once payment is received, the accounting department will send a confirmation via email that the account has been established.
Once the account has been established, NAFCC and the funding agency will finalize the process for educators to indicate that the funding agency is covering their fees.

A list of awardees/funding recipients for the Pre-paid account must be emailed to the accounting department at accounting@nafcc.org prior to the disbursement of membership, self-study or accreditation.

Awarded FCC educators must register on the Accreditation Portal and submit their completed application for processing.

When should I purchase the membership packages for my cohort?

Membership packages should be purchased prior to enrolling in the self-study phase of the accreditation process.

Who will be my primary for future accreditation questions?

All accreditation inquiries should be directed to accreditation@nafcc.org. An Accreditation Team Member will be assigned to support your cohort’s application process.

I’ve followed all the steps to start a cohort; what happens next?

Awarded FCC educators must register on the Accreditation Portal and submit their Self-Study Enrollment, Accreditation Application, or 18-month Update through the Accreditation Portal. We strongly encourage educators and agency staff to join the Accreditation Team Office Hours every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST for real-time support with the Portal and Accreditation steps. For more information and to register, please visit Accreditation Office Hours.

I am a Coach or Mentor supporting FCC Educators gain NAFCC Accreditation, what type of resources or support are available for me?

Coaches, mentors, and colleagues who support FCC Educators are welcome to participate in our Communities of Practice. This space is reserved for anyone who is actively supporting FCC Educators and would like to learn more about the Accreditation Process, share strategies, and network with like-minded professionals. To receive an invitation to this, please email the Director of Quality Assessment and Recognition, Andrea Maldonado, at amaldonado@nafcc.org.

The Accreditation Team is also available to support your cohort by scheduling a virtual Accreditation Overview presentation for you and your cohort. To schedule this, please contact accreditation@nafcc.org.

NAFCC provides Accreditation Training for those interested in making a difference. Join us in hosting Quality Ambassador Training and/or NAFCC Observer Training to play a pivotal role in supporting FCC educators in your community. Find out more by visiting our Accreditation Training page.

Together, we can make a positive impact in the lives of children and families!