AdvancED and Measured Progress are now Cognia.
Cognia is a global network of enthusiastic educators
here to help strengthen schools, so all students
have the opportunities that knowledge brings.

Knowledge is Opportunity

There is no question that the school and learning environment are at the heart of teaching and learning. However, increasing the learning, growth and development of young children involves more than improving instruction. Using a set of rigorous protocols and research-based Standards, the accreditation process examines the whole school — the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders — to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of young learners. Schools that choose Cognia know that it is not the outcome, but the process of accreditation that yields the greatest return on investment.

The Cognia determination is based on a review of Standards, environmental observations and stakeholder involvement. This visionary protocol is a holistic approach that helps to align accreditation with accountability and places emphasis on the importance of the learning, growth and development of young children when evaluating school quality and organizational effectiveness.

Schools engaged in Cognia accreditation will:

  • Take stock of themselves in relation to research-based quality Standards.
  • Access a framework and support system to help meet and exceed local, state, national and appropriate international requirements.
  • Establish a vision, assess their current reality, implement an improvement plan, monitor progress and evaluate results.
  • Enhance their best thinking with the insights and perspectives of an External Review Team.
  • Receive customized and technical assistance from state, regional and worldwide offices to maximize improvement efforts.
  • Utilize a state-of-the-art improvement management system that facilitates, documents and seamlessly integrates the continuous improvement and accreditation processes.
  • Earn a distinctive mark of quality and integrity recognized around the globe as the standard for educational excellence.

Definition of Eligibility

Early Learning School. Schools that serve only young children in any age ranges of birth through age 5. Kindergarten and before and after school programs may also be provided. If Grade 1 is provided, the school is no longer an Early Learning School. Rather, the school is an elementary school that has a Preschool program.

Preschool. Programs that serve children below Grade 1 that are part of a K-12 institution. For example, an elementary school that offers pre-Kindergarten has a preschool program.

Hear More

Hear Mark Elgart, President and CEO of Cognia, speak on the value of early learning.

Process and Procedures for Cognia Accreditation

Cognia Timeline for Accreditation

Cognia Early Learning Webinar Series: Continuous Improvement through Accreditation

Cultivating an environment for success requires an understanding of your school’s current circumstances, a plan to reinforce your strengths and bolster your weaknesses, and a willingness to learn from accomplishments and obstacles so your young learners, teachers and school communities flourish.

Are you preparing to host an Engagement Review (formerly External Review) in 2017-2018? This four-part online training series is intended for early learning schools or programs that are beginning their improvement journey in order to host an Engagement Review. The Cognia Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools strongly focus on the learning, growth and development of young children in addition to the support systems necessary for achieving organizational effectiveness. The Standards guide schools to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement that engages leaders, staff and families in meaningful ways in the care and education of young children. These webinar sessions will engage participants in an overview of the Cognia Early Learning Standards and Protocol, key steps leading to accreditation and suggestions for engaging stakeholder groups in the process.

The series will consist of four webinars on the following topics:

  • Session 1:  Overview and the Cognia Self-Assessment
  • Session 2:  Preparing for the Engagement Review
  • Session 3:  Involving Stakeholders in the Improvement Journey
  • Session 4:  Developing Your School Improvement Plan

Each webinar will provide participants an opportunity to learn about diagnostic tools, the effective use of the tools for accreditation and continuous improvement and have opportunities for questions and answers.

Register at

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