College’s On-Campus Preschool Earns Accreditation

Child Development Center Director Sally Dionisio said nearly 1,100 children have enrolled in the program.

PARAMUS, N.J. – The Child Development Center preschool at Bergen Community College has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a leading early childhood education professional organization.

“Our center helps provide our county’s youngest students with a foundation to develop and encourage a lifelong love of learning,” Child Development Center Director Sally Dionisio said. “Once students have a love of learning, it will inspire them to succeed in the future. Obtaining NAEYC accreditation validates our program’s effectiveness in fostering this early passion for education.”

To earn NAEYC accreditation, programs voluntarily commit to a self-study process that evaluates their effectiveness and quality in 10 key areas including curriculum, teaching practices and staff development. The accreditation process requires school staff to prepare reports on their programs before inviting NAEYC evaluators to visit their sites. After affirming a program’s quality and dedication to continuous improvement, evaluators grant the program a five-year accreditation. Nationwide, approximately 7,500 preschools have earned the group’s stamp of approval.

Bergen’s center, located in Ender Hall at the College’s main campus, has provided early childhood education opportunities for approximately 1,100 two- through six-year-olds since its inception in 1982 under its first director, Ursula Parrish-Daniels, Ed.D.

Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, center enrollees include the children of College faculty, staff and students and those from the greater Bergen County region. As a laboratory school, the center provides an on-campus observation, demonstration, field and workforce training site for the College’s students, who use the center to fulfill their course requirements relating to child development.

Led by certified teachers, the center features two classrooms that support both hands-on play and the development of academic concepts in math, science, social studies, language arts and the creative arts. Children also have access to computers, an outdoor play area and learning resources such as a community garden.

Children can enroll in either a full- or part-time schedule. The center operates from September until the end of the College’s summer II classes, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Children of College faculty, staff and students receive discounted tuition. For more information, or to schedule a visit, please call (201) 447-7165.

Bergen, New Jersey’s largest community college with approximately 14,000 students taking classes this semester, ranks No. 1 in the state for associate degree graduates. Alumni have studied at every Ivy League institution and rank 11th in the U.S. for mid-career salaries, according to Payscale. Its resources include the Cerullo Learning Assistance Center – twice recognized as the top tutoring center in the U.S. – and satellite campuses in Lyndhurst and Hackensack. The College has recognized its 50th anniversary in 2017-18.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, enrolls 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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