Standard 9: NAEYC Accreditation Criteria for Physical Environment Standard

Program Standard: The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. The environment includes facilities, equipment, and materials to facilitate child and staff learning and development.

Rationale: The programís design and maintenance of its physical environment support high-quality program activities and services as well as allow for optimal use and operation. Well-organized, equipped, and maintained environments support program quality by fostering the learning, comfort, health, and safety of those who use the program. Program quality is enhanced by also creating a welcoming and accessible setting for children, families, and staff.

Within each of the 10 NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards are topic areas that highlight the big ideas to more fully express the meaning and value of the standard. Each topic area includes criteria that further define the meaning of quality in that area. The topic areas are identified by letters (A, B, C, etc.). The number of topic areas within a standard varies. The following chart presents the topic areas for this standard. Click on the topic area to link to the accreditation criteria.

Topic area

Indoor and Outdoor Equipment, Materials, and Furnishings

Outdoor Environmental Design

Building and Physical Design

Environmental Health