Welcome!!! We are very excited about becoming an approved accrediting agency in the state of Minnesota. This is your "One Stop Shop" for everything you need to learn about APPLE accreditation to make an informed decision regarding your schools' accreditation.
Apple accreditation is the largest accrediting body in the state of Florida serving nearly 900 centers and growing. Our standards meet and exceed other National accrediting agencies. We take pride in our high quality standards, unparalleled assistance to providers, and knowing the early learning industry and Apple accreditation "Provides the Foundation to Future Learning and Success".
The state of Minnesota is offering an increase in reimbursement rates for accredited centers. APPLE accreditation believes in helping early learning centers become and sustain high quality. We are available to assist you in raising the bar to APPLE accreditation standards in order to begin receiving increased reimbursement rates to help strengthen your business. We offer technical assistance, a self-scoring checklist, and access to our professional APPLE specialists to answer any questions.
APPLE is going National in 2014. Our national association, Raising the Nation (still in development), gives you access to the great benefits our nearly 1200 members enjoy here in Florida. We provide deep discounts on office supplies, wireless phone service, free public relation services, discounts on insurance, human resource assistance, and more.
Below you will find helpful links and useful information on APPLE accreditation. If you have any questions, our APPLE specialists are ready to help answer and assist you. Please call our APPLE HQ at 1.877.634.9874 or click here to email our program director, Diana Layton.
APPLE is designed to work well for all types of facilities, small centers, privately owned, faith-based, or corporate programs. Studies show the positive effects of high-quality early learning centers on the physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional outcomes of young children. The APPLE accreditation program will raise your center to a level of quality that will enable you to better serve the children and their families.
APPLE was developed by owners and operators of early learning centers, and is grounded in the unique perspective of the business of childcare. The owner/management team has the greatest impact on the quality of any early learning center, and the developers of the APPLE program recognized the importance of balancing the standards to improve quality and the financial impact it may have on the children and families served.
Please consider these questions before beginning the accreditation process:
- Does my center have a dedicated team that can assist with the accreditation process?
- Is my center ready to make the necessary changes to achieve quality accreditation?
- Does my center have the necessary resources to achieve the required standards and do I have the resources to sustain them?
Answer YES to all three questions?!? Wonderful, you can begin the accreditation process today.
Getting started is easy!! To begin the APPLE accreditation process, submit the National APPLE application and download the self-study manual. You may choose between two different timelines to fit your needs. If you would like to take your time as you improve your center by working through the self-study manual, the APPLE standard option is the best for your center. If you believe you are already at APPLE quality standards and would like to move quickly, your center would greatly benefit from Advanced APPLE as it an accelerated accreditation program. Click on the links below to download this information.
As you work through the self-study manual, understand it is a time for reflection and improvement that requires the development of a portfolio of the documentation of best practices. We recommend speaking to an APPLE specialist as you begin the self-study manual. At this point the APPLE office will give you access to the self-scoring checklist that serves as your tool to check off each component of accreditation. This checklist will allow you to grade the center as it moves through the process. You will know exactly how far the center needs to go to reach APPLE standards. This checklist also provides flexibility to providers to choose areas to excel in and recognize areas that need improvement while still meeting the quality standards of APPLE accreditation.
APPLE believes in helping all centers achieve high quality. We offer technical assistance to centers. For a nominal fee, a technical assistant will spend four hours at the center making recommendations to improve quality and meet or exceed APPLE standards. Please call our APPLE office to learn more about this program. At the end of the self-study process, you will submit the portfolio to the APPLE program office electronically, indicating readiness for verification.
As you move into the verification phase, APPLE validates the self-scoring checklist and portfolio to attest that your center is indeed ready for verification. If not, you will need to resubmit the portfolio with the missing information or documentation. Once the center is ready for verification, the center will be notified that the verifier will make a visit to the school within the next three months. The center will be allowed to block out two dates per month and then given a three week window where the verifier will make an unannounced visit.
The job of the verifier is to verify that the materials submitted are reflective of what is actually happening at the center. The verifier will observe each classroom to ensure it meets APPLE standards. The verifier will observe the children, teachers, and interactions between them, the activities, supplies, and materials in the classrooms, on the playground, and in the common areas. They will check for general safety and cleanliness of facility. If the portfolio reviewers had any questions about any items in the portfolios you submitted, the verifier will request to see those specific items.
The verifier will review the visit with the Center Director or Representative in the exit interview. At this time the Director/Representatives has the opportunity to provide written explanations or responses. The verifier and Center Director or Representative sign the review and it is mailed to the APPLE office for final review before the APPLE Commission.
The APPLE Commission has the authority to make a recommendation for accreditation, issue a deferral (which may require a second verification visit), or denial with no re-verification option.
APPLE is different than most accrediting bodies. We believe in you and your ability and passion to teach young students, inspire future leaders, and create the opportunity for a successful life. APPLE also understands the unique business aspect of the early learning industry. We have always believed that a quality center must be financially successful to maintain these standards.
We welcome the opportunity to serve the early learning centers of Minnesota. Please give us a call today to help answer any questions you may have about APPLE Accreditation. 1.877.634.9874.
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