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CDC earns accreditation from national organization

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Verna Brown, director of the Child Development Center, recieves a certificate for the CDC's accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children from the 30th Space Wing commander Col. David Buck. (Air Force courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Verna Brown, director of the Child Development Center, recieves a certificate for the CDC's accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children from the 30th Space Wing commander Col. David Buck. (Air Force courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Vandenberg Child Development Center recently received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

The accreditation was based on an inspection that focused on 10 different standards of care throughout each classroom at the CDC. However, before the center could even be evaluated, a rigorous application process took place. 

"Being accredited by NAEYC means you are the best of the best among not only DoD centers but civilian as well," said Tina Luderman, the assistant director of the CDC. "Just to get to the evaluation process we had to submit a self study, then an application and finally, after our application was approved, we sent our candidacy materials." 

The self study and application part of the accreditation process focuses on child care, curriculum and the qualification of the staff to teach and take care of the children at the CDC. 

"We are required by NAEYC to have a certain percentage of our staff to meet certain education marks," said Verna Brown, the CDC director. "They are also looking at our curriculum to make sure that we are not simply babysitting, but we are teaching the children so that they will be prepared for the next step in their education." 

The Vandenberg CDC follows the Air Force when it comes to the best way to teach a child. 

"The Air Force has decided that children in developmental stages learn by playing," Mrs. Luderman said. "For instance, we don't sit down with 4-year-olds and go over the ABC's; we show them by using different playing devices. 

"After the application packages have been approved, then it is game-on for the inspection," Mrs. Luderman said. "The inspector just has to call and give us 24 hours of notice before he arrives." 

Just as she said, the phone rang and 24 hours later the inspector arrived. He was immediately impressed. 

"On the 10 core inspection standards, which encompass things like health, relationships, physical environment, we received 100-plus-percent," Mrs. Luderman said. "All of our required criteria, which is a meet-or don't-meet scale, we met." 

The all-star staff at the CDC takes pride in what they do for Vandenberg and the children that are om their care. 

"It frustrates me when people say we babysit," Mrs. Brown said. "We teach. We mold. We educate young children so that they are ready for elementary school. We care for children, but we don't babysit." 

That passion is what makes Vandenberg's CDC one of the best. The accreditation didn't make them that way, the heart and soul that each staff member pours out every day thats what makes them one of the best.