Accountability & Accreditation at Onward House

Onward House is proud to announce that we have secured three important accreditations from leading non-profit accountability organizations! Since February, Onward has earned the Gold Circle of Quality from ExceleRate Illinois, the gold-level seal of transparency from Guidestar, and a reaccreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Onward has a history of being recognized for quality in our early childhood programs by ExceleRate and NAEYC, and this year we’ve added the gold seal of transparency from Guidestar.

Accreditation processes involve the thorough examination of every aspect of a non-profit organization. As part of our mission to open doors, we believe in transparency and upholding our responsibility to our partners and community.

NAEYC’s accreditation is one of the most rigorous in the country – with less than 10% of all childcare service providers certified. The accreditation process uses a variety of formal and informal assessment approaches to gather data from every aspect of the programs. This data is the key to measuring how effective we are promoting children’s learning and development. These assessments occur with communication between both teachers and families. The standards also consider the cultural contexts in which children are developing.

Representatives from accrediting organizations participate in file reviews, classroom observations, teacher training, all adhering to a strict code of ethical responsibility by meeting ten standards. A few of these standards are:

  • Offering quality education in a safe and healthy learning environment.
  • Employing qualified staff with the knowledge and experience necessary to promote lasting learning.
  • Implementing a research-based curriculum that fosters the five key areas in early childhood development: emotional, language, physical, cognitive, and social.
  • Maintaining an effective teaching approach that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
  • Creating a strong partnership with all families in the program.
  • Ensuring all children, families, and staff have high-quality experiences through the effective management of programs and personnel

What this means is that Onward House cares for every aspect of each child’s experience. Early childhood development is one of the most crucial periods in a person’s life and that by providing a safe, enriching and healthy environment we can change outcomes for the better. We are driven to provide direct care that not only meets the high standards of NAEYC, ExceleRate, and Guidestar, but exceeds them. Onward conducts yearly reviews of all standards to measure how effective our programs are – from the classroom level all the way up to our directors.

Our teachers and support staff show their dedication to providing quality services every day. “It’s a big achievement for our early childcare professionals to work at a NAEYC accredited organization,” our Education Coordinator, Miriam Williamson said. “It’s a lot of time and effort, but worth it. It shows increased accountability and you know that the program is trustworthy.”

At Onward, we pride ourselves on being transparent, accountable, while serving the community.