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The Children’s Learning Center Earns National NAEYC Accreditation

NEW LONDON, Conn. – October 12, 2021 – The Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College (CLC), located in New London, Connecticut, has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments.

“Under the expert leadership of director Claudia Murphy, the CLC has earned the mark of quality from the NAEYC. We are proud that our little gem in the woods is recognized by the accrediting body for its commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Dr. Elizabeth Beaulieu, vice president for academic affairs.

The CLC, which offers both a preschool and kindergarten program, uses the Reggio Emilia Approach focused on nature-based learning. It also serves as a Laboratory School for Mitchell College students in the Teaching & Learning and Human Services cores. Students are actively engaged as researchers, interns, and student workers. This partnership ensures an innovative approach to best practices in the fields of human development and early childhood education.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the CLC went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 6,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition. 

“NAEYC-Accredited programs have committed to a process that takes time, energy and dedication to complete” said Alissa Mwenelupembe, senior director of early learning program accreditation. “The Children’s Learning Center at Mitchell College has demonstrated their commitment to young children and their families.”

To learn more about the CLC, visit



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