The preschool program for three- and four-year-old children is under the supervision of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at NSU. The program is committed to providing both preschoolers and university students with a high quality education, according to Janna Maggio, CDC director. The CDC has been in existence since 1935 and serves 40 children each year.
“The Center continues to maintain NAEYC accreditation status by providing students with quality teaching staff and care. We are the only NAEYC-accredited preschool in Natchitoches and one of only 23 in Louisiana,” Maggio said.
The CDC annually conducts an extensive self-study, measuring the program and its services against the 10 NAEYC early childhood program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The program received NAEYC accreditation in 2011 after an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the 10 program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years.
“Northwestern State students who are majoring in early childhood education get hands-on experience working in a nationally-accredited program, which teaches them the developmentally appropriate practices and standards that are nationally accepted,” Maggio said. Maggio also credited staff members Karen Winn and Amanda LaGrange for their role in helping maintain accreditation.