Achieving and Maintaining Accreditation

Who Can Apply to Become NAFCC Accredited?

  • Current NAFCC Accredited providers that have completed their annual updates are eligible to apply to become re-accredited

When Should I Apply?

Choose the month you would like your visit. Use the chart below to determine when to submit your application. Re-accrediting providers should consider submitting their COMPLETE application up to 6 months early to avoid a lapse in status. Accreditation expiration dates cannot be extended.

If NAFCC Receives Your
Complete Application in...

*Your Observation Visit
Will Take Place in...

January April or May
February May or June
March June or July
April July or August
May August or September
June September or October
July October or November
August November or December
September December or January
October January or February
November February or March
December March or April

Observation visits are contingent upon observer availability.

 

Re-accreditation applications may be submitted up to 6 months before your current accreditation expiration date. Applications submitted earlier than 6 months will be returned to you to submit at a later date. 

 

Once NAFCC verifies that your application is complete you will be contacted to select the month you would like to have your observation visit. You may also be eligible to select up to 4 days during that month that you would like to exclude from the schedule.

  • If your program is open at least 5 days a week you may identify up to 4 days that month that you would like to exclude from the schedule.
  • If your program is open at least 4 days a week you may identify up to 2 days that month you would like to exclude from the schedule
  • If your program is open less than 4 days a week you are not eligible to exclude any days from the schedule.

You should be prepared for your observation visit any of the remaining days during the month. Once the observation materials arrive at NAFCC, the decision process typically takes up to 6 weeks. Re-accrediting providers should consider the best time to apply to avoid a lapse in accreditation.

How Do I Apply?

Download an Accreditation Application

  • This is my 1st time applying for accreditation
    • Submit complete the application
    • Submit the documentation listed on page 1 of the application
    • Submit all applicable fees
    • Keep your original copies. NAFCC digitizes your documents and will not be able to return your originals.
  • I am applying for re-accreditation
    • Submit complete the application
    • Submit only the documentation that needs to be updated. Refer to the documentation checklist you received with your 2nd Annual Update
    • Keep your original copies. NAFCC digitizes your documents and will not be able to return your originals.

Tips for Maintaing Your Accreditation

MARK YOUR CALENDAR. Keep track of your expiration dates and deadlines. NAFCC attempts to send courtesy reminders via email and mail. However, we cannot guarantee receipt of these reminders.

PLAN AHEAD. Eligibility documentation may take time to acquire, especially background checks. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete items so you can submit your annual updates and re-accreditaiton application on time.

FOLLOW THE TIMELINE. Accreditation takes time. Allow plenty of time for the process to happen if you want to avoid a lapse in your accreditaiton status. Accreditation expiration dates cannot be extended. Allow about 6 months "as a good rule of thumb" or try to apply around the same month as the last time you went through.

RE-EVALUATE. Go over the Quality Standards for Accreditation at least before each observation visit. This is why your Benchmarks to Quality workbook is such a valuable tool to use throughout your career as an accredited provider.

Annual Updates

Annual updates strengthen commitment to maintaining the quality standards, encourage on-going professional development, and promote continuous quality improvement. Timely annual updates are required to maintain accreditation status through the 3-year award period. Accredited providers must submit the first annual update and fee within 30 days before or after your accreditation anniversary date; early or late submissions may affect your accreditation and result in additional fees. Upon successful completion of the annual update, NAFCC sends a validation seal signifying that accreditation is valid through the second year. The second annual update is due within 30 days before or after your accreditation anniversary date; early or late submissions may affect your accreditation and result in additional fees. No fee is due at this time. Upon successful completion of the annual update, NAFCC sends a validation seal signifying that the provider’s accreditation is valid through the third year. If annual updates are not submitted within 30 days before or after the accreditation anniversary date, accreditation will no longer be valid.

How Do I Submit My Annual Update?

New! Submit your Annual Update Form Online

Download an Annual Update Form

  • Submit complete form
  • Submit documentation that needs to be updated. Refer to the checklist you received with your award letter or 1st annual update seal
  • Submit all applicable fees
  • Keep your original copies. NAFCC digitizes your documents and will not be able to return your originals.

Ask questions, request a copy of your documentation checklist, or submit documents below.

Contact Information
Submit Documents