UMaine Child Development Learning Center accreditation renewed for five years

The Katherine Miles Durst Child Development Learning Center at the University of Maine was recently reaccredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Reaccreditation means the center meets or exceeds NAEYC standards in 10 areas, including relationships, curriculum, teaching, health and physical environment. The program earned an overall pass rate of just over 97% across all standards combined. It also went through an extensive site visit by an NAEYC assessor that included a classroom observation and interviews with staff.

Established in 1931, the Durst center is one of the oldest university-affiliated laboratory schools in the country, allowing students in UMaine’s education and early childhood programs to learn through teaching and observation. The preschool is open to families from the university and surrounding communities, enrolling approximately 35 children, ages 3–5, each year, according to Margo Brown, coordinator of the center and lecturer in child development and family relations in the UMaine College of Education and Human Development.

Two graduate students oversee the program as head teachers, supervising several undergraduate students each semester who serve as assistant teachers while taking UMaine’s Early Childhood Education Field Placement class. The program emphasizes whole-child development through play and social literacy.

The center first earned NAEYC accreditation 10 years ago and was previously reaccredited in 2016. The new reaccreditation is valid until July 2027. It’s one of 39 programs in Maine to be accredited by the NAEYC, the nation’s leading organization for early childhood professionals.