[§346-184]  Preschool open doors program; provider accreditation.  (a)  Each service provider of the preschool open doors program shall be accredited or shall obtain accreditation within seven calendar years of first receiving any funds from the preschool open doors program; provided that any existing service provider unaccredited on July 1, 2020, shall commence the accreditation process no later than July 1, 2022, and obtain accreditation by July 1, 2027; provided further that the director may grant to any service provider one or more extensions to obtain accreditation on a case-by-case basis.

     (b)  Accreditation under this section shall be obtained from one or more of the following national early learning accrediting organizations:

     (1)  National Association for the Education of Young Children;

     (2)  National Early Childhood Program Accreditation;

     (3)  National Association for Family Child Care; or

     (4)  An accrediting organization approved by the director; provided that the accrediting organization is comparable to the organizations specified in paragraphs (1) through (3).

     (c)  Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), a service provider may receive or continue to receive funding through the preschool open doors program if the service provider maintains a satisfactory performance rating under the Classroom Assessment Scoring System developed by the University of Virginia and performed in conformance with United States Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.

     (d)  The department shall provide operational and financial support to service providers to assist the service providers in obtaining accreditation.  The department may contract with a private entity to assist service providers in obtaining accreditation. [L 2020, c 46, pt of §7]



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