Commitment to Quality and You

NAFCC accreditation logo

Quality. Commitment. Excellence.

Our accreditation program servers as a cornerstone in a state professional development systems and informs policy makers. For professionals there are two paths, and many right ways to achieve accreditation!

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Quality Standards

Accreditation offers national recognition to family child care programs meeting the highest standards for home-based early care and education. Helping parents recognize and choose high quality family child care, our symbol of quality honors diversity and reflects cultural competency. Accreditation allows providers the flexibility to implement standards through the lens of diversity and child-centered care. Accreditation encompasses a comprehensive set of standards broken down into five core competencies:

  • Relationships
  • The Environment
  • Learning Activities
  • Safety & Health
  • Professional & Business Practices

Our accreditation program serves as a cornerstone in state professional development systems and informs policy makers. For professionals there are two paths, and many right ways to achieve accreditation!

Path to Accreditation

Any provider seeking to deepen their understanding of quality family child care can begin the Self-Study phase. This process is a self-paced stage of reflection. It gives providers the opportunity to assess whether their practices are already in line with NAFCC Quality Standards, and how they can work to achieve this status.

Requirements for movement to the next phase:

  • Self reflection through use of Benchmarks to Quality
  • Training

To purchase a self-study kit, please click the link to complete the form for submission and processing. All Self-Study Kits are a Pre-Order and will be fulfilled within 30 days after submission of form.

Application phase

* Please note that the accreditation application process including observation and awarding timeline is currently between 6-9 months.

Once a provider has completed the Self-Study phase, they can submit their Application for Accreditation. This phase begins with collecting the necessary documents to complete the Quality Portfolio. They must also choose a Quality Assessor that will conduct the Observation Visit, and obtain their Identification Number.

Requirements for movement to the next phase:

  • Prepare Quality Portfolio
  • Submit Application and fees ($525 member fee, or $550 if sending a check by mail)


This is the provider’s time to shine. Providers demonstrate how they fulfill the requirements of each of the standards. There are three separate components to this phase.

Requirements for movement to the next phase:

  • Self Rating (includes Self Certification packet and video submissions)
  • Parent Surveys
  • Observation done by a Quality Assessor

Decision phase

In this phase, NAFCC and the Accreditation Council will determine whether a provider has fully demonstrated compliance with all the standards.

Requirements for movement to the next phase:

  • Award Accreditation
  • Award Conditional Accreditation
  • Defer Accreditation
  • Deny Accreditation

18-Month Update

Accreditation validates the high quality of family child care. Accredited providers demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the profession of family child care. Accreditation is valid for 3 years. Programs are required to reapply at 2 years and 6 months, and will start fresh at the beginning of the process for accreditation.

Requirements for movement to Re-accreditation:

  • Adhere to accreditation standards and NAFCC policies
  • Report program changes such as move or change assistants
  • Continuously assess that the environment, policies and practices are aligned with the NAFCC standards

Forms & Resources

Accreditation Resources

Visit the accreditation portal to submit your forms.

NAFCC Accreditation Observation Scheduling

Deciding when to apply for NAFCC accreditation

You may choose whether to do your observation virtually (by ZOOM with a pre-visit day and an observation day) or in person.

You will be scheduled for a virtually or in person observation within 60-90 days if:

Application Date Observation Date
January 31st April-May
February 28th (29th) May-June
March 31st June-July
April 30th July-August
May 31st August-September
June 30th September-October
Application Date Observation Date
July 31st October-November
August 31st November-December
September 30th December-January
October 31st January-February
November 30th February-March
December 31st March-April

NAFCC Accreditation Fees

Changes to accreditation fees will take effect in August, 2024.

Item Member Fee Non-member Fee
Self-Study Enrollment Kit $315 $450
Accreditation Application $525
$100.00 Co-provider Fee $100
Co-provider Fee $150
18-Month Update $160 $240

Accreditation Application Bundle Packages

Bundle includes:

  • Self-Study enrollment
  • Accreditation Application – Observation
  • 18-month update fee
Member Fee Non-Member Fee
$945.00 *plus $45.00 annual membership fee $1340.00

Accreditation Projects

Connect with these local and state agencies for assistance that may come in the form of opportunities to participate in support groups, mentoring, help in developing a quality improvement plan, or financial assistance including help paying the accreditation fee.


Air Force


Family Child Care Partnerships (FCCP) @ Auburn University


Maryland State Department of Education

roads to quality logo

Maine Roads to Quality

Florida Family Child Care Home Association

Ounce of Prevention

Tennessee State University

Wisconsin Family Child Care Association

Family Child Care Association of Maine

roads to quality logo

University of Arkansas
College of Education
& Health Professions

Oklahoma partnership

Oklahoma Partnership
for School Readiness

early childhood solution

Early Childhood Solutions

quality ambassador

Become an Accreditation Quality Ambassador

Build a bridge to NAFCC Accreditation! Sign up for the next training series for Accreditation projects leads and staff. Learn everything from project planning, to working with Family Child Care Programs and NAFCC. Be better equipped to walk Family Child Care educators through NAFCC Accreditation and Renewals.

Meet the Council

Annette Eberhart

Annette Eberhart


Mike Bachman

Michael Bachman

Immediate Past Chair

Sheryl Hutzenbiler

Sheryl Hutzenbiler


Jan Munday

Jan Munday

Clara herrera

Clara Herrera, Ed.D.

Maria Florez

Maria Flores


Stacey Buzbee

Susan Hancock

Susan Hancock


Giselle Asencio


Find an Accredited Program

Being NAFCC Accredited shows my parents I am committed to quality, that I truly support children’s growth and development in the most professional and caring way possible.” – Lida