Licensing & Quality


Lancaster Early Education Center is dually licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Department of Health & Safety (DHS). The facility is inspected annually by PDE, DHS, the Lancaster City Fire Inspector, and the Lancaster City Department of Health.



June 2019 – Lancaster Early Education Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Nina Moragne, CEO of Lancaster Early Education Center. Lancaster Early Education Center is one of the first child care centers in our nation, established in 1915 as Lancaster Day Nursery. The mission of the center has remained the same – to provide affordable, high quality, early care and education to children from low-income working families.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Lancaster Early Education Center went through an extensive self-study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years.

In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC—less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.

“NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day,” said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. “Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Lancaster Early Education Center an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community.”

Keystone STAR 4

Lancaster Early Education Center is a Keystone STAR 4 center (which is the highest level attainable in the state of Pennsylvania). The STARS program is an initiative of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to improve, support, and recognize the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania.

There are 4 levels of quality (4 stars being the best). Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes researched-based best practices to promote early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, leadership and management.