Lena Pope Early Learning Center Earns National NAEYC Accreditation

Program recognized among the top two percent in Texas and 10 percent in the nation by earning accreditation

FORT WORTH, Texas (January 19, 2021) – Lena Pope’s Early Learning Center, which serves children ages six weeks to five years and is located at 3200 Sanguinet Street in Fort Worth, has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) — one of the world’s largest organizations 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. 

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Only 7,000 programs nationwide are currently accredited by NAEYC; less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally – and less than two percent in all of Texas – achieve this recognition.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Lena Pope Early Learning Center went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by a NAEYC Assessor to verify and ensure that the program met each of the 10 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.

“We’re proud to be recognized by NAEYC for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Jennifer Carpenter, Director of Early Learning Programs at Lena Pope. “We have worked extremely hard to achieve this mark of quality, ultimately to benefit the children we serve. Our students’ development and growth are our highest priority.”

Lena Pope’s two Early Learning Centers serve a total of 188 children, ages six weeks to five years. The centers provide full-day and full-year care with a commitment to making the program accessible and affordable to families of all backgrounds. Up to 40% of available slots are reserved for families who qualify for financial assistance through child care subsidies or sliding scale tuition fees. 

In addition to the newly accredited Sanguinet campus, Lena Pope operates a second location of its Early Learning Center on the campus of UNT Health Science Center (HSC). Opened in 2018, the HSC campus is in the early stages of the self-study process in pursuit of accreditation from NAEYC.

“NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Lena Pope Early Learning Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

“NAEYC accreditation is considered the gold standard in early learning and ensures that our students are receiving the highest quality early childhood education,” said Lena Pope CEO Ashley Elgin, Ph.D. “Our goal is for each of our students to be prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond. The NAEYC accreditation process has helped strengthen our staff’s abilities to achieve this goal.”