When parents choose child care, what are they looking for? Cost and location come to mind but most parents are searching for a provider who “goes the extra mile” to provide quality care. Increasingly, parents are requesting an accredited child care provider and are willing to pay extra and travel further for this benefit.

Accreditation identifies child care centers and family child care providers who go beyond the minimum standards of care as defined by the WV Department of Health and Human Services. Accredited providers consistently meet high standards of quality in their child care program.

Benefits of Being an Accredited Provider

  • Providers learn from the process.
    The accreditation process gives providers the opportunity to examine their homes and the way they interact with children, assuring that all the details are in place.
  • Makes providers feel more professional.
    Many providers say that accreditation makes them feel more professional – not like babysitters.
  • Gives providers a more concrete definition of quality in Family Child Care.
    Accreditation gives providers the tools needed to do their job better.
  • Keeps providers excited about their work.
    The accreditation process helps make providers excited and challenged by their job. Accreditation may help providers stay in the field longer.
  • Encourages providers to pursue ongoing training and support.
    The more training with which a provider has good experiences, the more training they want to pursue. Many providers find that they become more involved in local child care associations and become advocates for quality child care.
  • Promotes higher quality than state regulations.
    Providers feel that accreditation represents a higher level of quality-a level that the state will probably not require but are proud to offer children and parents.
  • Accredited providers become leaders in the field.
    Some accredited providers find that accreditation is a stepping stone to getting more involved in local, state and national child care issues.
  • Helps providers market their services.
    Accredited providers take time to explain the benefits of accreditation to prospective parents. Parents are impressed with a provider's commitment to quality care and are more likely to enroll their child.
  • Helps some providers earn more money.
    Some accredited providers raise their fees because they feel more confident about the quality of their programs. Accredited providers’ incomes may also go up because parent/provider communication skills have improved and they are more likely to get paid by all their parents on time and are better able to keep their spaces filled.  Those participating in the subsidy program are reimbursed at a higher rate.

To learn more about how you can become an accredited Family Child Care Provider through the National Association for Family Child Care, visit

To learn more about how you can become an accredited Child Care Center through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, visit

To learn more about financial assistance that may be available to help with the cost of accreditation, visit

As a professional, you owe it to yourself, parents and especially the children.