Early Learning

Partner with an education-first organization as you prepare children for a lifetime of learning.

Stand out from the crowd with Cognia Early Learning Accreditation

Cognia supports your approach to educating early learning-aged children in a healthy and safe environment. When schools commit to continuous improvement and the standards set forth in Cognia Performance Standards for Early Learning, they set students on a path founded on a common set of learning outcomes and expectations that are shared by Cognia K–12 schools, systems, and partner institutions.

Earning accreditation and displaying our seal assures parents that your institution meets the highest standards, demonstrated by nearly 1,200 early learning institutions that have achieved accreditation. Our accreditation increases your rating in early learning Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS) in select states and provides eligibility to the Military Fee Assistance Program, drawing even more families to you.

A unique set of standards for the youngest learners

Because early learning and school-aged accreditation differ, we’ve crafted 32 early learning standards. Our early learning standards thoughtfully align with Cognia K–12 standards, ensuring seamless continuity across PreK–12 institutions.

These standards encompass the following four key characteristics that are the foundation for Cognia’s approach to continuous improvement and ensure high-quality teaching and learning and overall organizational effectiveness.

  • Culture of learning
  • Leadership for learning
  • Engagement of learning
  • Growth in learning

Foster a positive learning environment

Conduct meaningful observations in infant through kindergarten learning environments. Using our research-based early learning observation tool and resources, examine best practices in:

  • Supportive interactions
  • Intentional learning
  • Positive guidance
  • Safe and healthy environments

The resulting data guides improvement efforts to create the most optimal environments for student learning.

Transform learning with Cognia Early Learning STEM Certification

In addition to earning Cognia Accreditation, take your institution one step further with Cognia Early Learning STEM Certification. Cognia STEM Certification is the first of its kind, providing recognition for early learning programs that demonstrate a strong and effective STEM focus. Cognia Early Learning STEM Certification Standards provide a set of evaluative criteria that form the foundational elements of a high-quality Early Learning STEM program. During the STEM certification Engagement Review, Cognia evaluators look for problem-based experiential learning and components of STEM thinking integrated into a broad range of activities and learning opportunities.

It’s not just a ‘one and done’ where we do everything beautifully for one day, and then we don’t have to think about them until the next visit. This was really about continuously supporting our schools, and together, we focus on where there are opportunities for improvement.”
Erin Kruppenbacker
District Director
LLE Education Group (VA)