The Self-evaluation Process
Quality enhancement through self-evaluation is the core of the accreditation process, and therefore, it must be completed by all programs enrolled in accreditation.
When a program fails to demonstrate to the accreditation agency their active engagement in the self-evaluation process, the agency will close the program's file. Such programs will be required to have a six-month waiting period before they can apply for accreditation again.
The goal of the self-evaluation process is for child care programs to review current practice and enhance the quality of care in their program. The Accreditation Guide materials are built around six accreditation standards. Each standard has its own Self-evaluation Tool which helps programs identify what they are already implementing, what they plan to work on and what supports they might need to achieve each indicator within the accreditation standards.
The process consists of an initial review followed by a series of tasks or steps the child care program undertakes to enhance the level of their practice to meet the accreditation standards. There is also a documentation process, wherein relevant documents are gathered by a child care program to present to the validators as part of evidence during a site visit.
Quality Enhancement Plan
After a child care program has completed all six Self-evaluation Tools, they identify aspects of their practice that require improvement.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- working with staff or providers to demonstrate quality of care
- enhancing indoor and outdoor physical environments
- reviewing program policies to guide practice
- implementing improved practices
- gathering documents or other materials as evidence in meeting the accreditation standards
At this stage of quality improvement, programs work closely with the strategies of their Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) developed during the self-evaluation stage. The QEP is a living document, and may be revised as programs discover additional improvements are needed, or previous strategies are completed.
When programs are near the end of developing their Quality Enhancement Plan, they may review their performance again using the same Self-evaluation Tools that they worked with in the initial review. This strategy assists programs to determine whether they are ready to be evaluated by the accreditation agency through a site visit.