APPLE (Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment) is a national early learning program accreditation. With over 900 accredited programs and many more engaged in the process, APPLE is one of the largest accrediting programs for early learning centers. In Florida, APPLE is accepted as one of Florida’s Gold Seal Quality programs. The Gold Seal program provides additional benefits including: ad valorem tax relief, a sales tax exemption on supplies and materials, and an increase in reimbursement for subsidized care. The best benefit is giving your parents the confidence that the care of their children is at an APPLE accredited center.
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 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.
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Getting started is easy. To begin the APPLE accreditation process submit the APPLE application and download the self-study manual. The self-study is a time for reflection and improvement that requires the development of a portfolio of documentation of best practices. The portfolio is submitted to the APPLE program office electronically, indicating readiness for verification. The portfolio is reviewed in the APPLE office and if found to be in compliance with the accreditation standards moves into the verification phase.
Portfolios must be submitted electronically beginning August 1st, 2013.
The APPLE Commission is the final authority to render the accreditation decision after a thorough review of all documentation.
Advanced APPLE is an appropriate track for accreditation for those early learning centers that have high quality standards in place to successfully move through the APPLE accreditation process in an accelerated manner. The decision to select the Advanced APPLE track is made after a center reviews the APPLE manual and all accreditation requirements. The self-study portfolio will still need to be completed; however, it is NOT sent to the APPLE program office. The manual remains on site at the center for the verifier’s review. The center indicates readiness for the verification visit by submitting the Attestation of Readiness to the APPLE program office.
The verification visit will take place within 45 business days of the Advanced APPLE submissions review and acceptance. Advanced APPLE is NOT a guarantee that a center will be granted accreditation. The same standards apply to Advanced APPLE, and accreditation is awarded based on the review of the center’s portfolio and verification visit. Each center must determine if the accelerated program or the traditional APPLE track is appropriate.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the traditional or Advanced APPLE accreditation process.
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Your call to the APPLE office will be enthusiastically returned promptly Monday through Friday 8am-4pm.