Accreditation Cohort FAQs

What is an Accreditation Cohort?

A group of practitioners who work together with a trained facilitator to share resources and support around obtaining national Accreditation.

What are the eligibility requirements for my program?

Read this Memorandum of Agreement for eligibility requirements: Accreditation Cohort MOA

Is it a problem if my program has had a licensing violation in the past?

If your program’s license is in good standing you are eligible to be part of the cohort.  If during the cohort your program is determined to be in violation, depending on the severity, MRTQ PDN may ask you to withdraw from the cohort. 

When do the Accreditation Cohorts begin?

New cohorts begin in January and based on demand possibly again in September.  Programs cannot join an accreditation cohort that is already in progress. 

Do all my staff have to be Registry members for my program to join a Cohort?

Yes, all your staff need to be ‘active’ members of the MRTQ Registry for your program to join a Cohort.

How do I find out if my staff are ‘active’ Registry members?

Please contact the Registry staff at 1-888-900-0055 or

How long does the accreditation cohort last?

Accreditation cohorts will last up to 18 months (may be less for renewals).  Depending on your program’s readiness you may be able to complete the accreditation process during that time frame.

How often and where do the cohorts meet?

The National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) cohorts meet monthly for 2 hours via video conference (Zoom). National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Council on Accreditation (COA) cohorts meet monthly in person for 2 hours at locations convenient to the majority of programs.

How much time should I be prepared to spend per month?

It will depend on your program’s readiness (the kinds of improvements you’ll need to make in order to meet accreditation standards).

Who attends the cohort meetings?

The person with primary responsibility for the administration of the program is expected to attend the cohort meetings.  In some cases, the cohort meeting topic may be applicable for other staff members to attend as well.

Do all the staff in my program have to have degrees?

Depending on the accrediting body (NAFCC, NAEYC, COA), there are requirements for professional development (training hours, credentials, higher ed degrees) to achieve accreditation.  At a minimum, in order for a program to participate in a cohort, individuals on your staff would need a HS diploma or GED and show that they will be able to meet the accreditation standard during the cohort period.

Does my staff get training hours for participating in the cohort?

Attendees of the cohort meetings will receive MRTQ PDN professional growth hours.  MRTQ PDN Professional growth hours can be used toward the requirement at Steps 3 and 4 with Quality for ME and will be accepted by Maine Child Care Licensing to meet yearly training requirements.

Do I need to have a computer?

While it is possible to achieve accreditation without technology, it will put a program at a disadvantage from their peers.

My internet (phone reception) is unreliable, is this going to be a problem?

Typically cohorts rely on technology (email especially) to function smoothly.  MRTQ PDN will do their best to support cohort participants who are lacking access to technology or who need additional supports to enable inclusion in the cohort.

I’m uncomfortable speaking in public – is this a requirement?

Cohort participants are encouraged to join in discussions and share their experiences and expertise with their peers in the cohort.  Cohorts are a safe, welcoming community.  A participant would not be expected to speak in public outside of the cohort.

If my program participates in a cohort, will the accreditation fees be covered by MRTQ PDN?

MRTQ PDN has funding to support some of the accreditation fees.  Please see the attached details for NAFCC and NAEYC.  For information about COA fees, please contact Diane Hancock at

For information about assistance with NAFCC fees, click here.
For information about assistance with NAEYC fees, click here,

Is MRTQ PDN offering mini-grants for cohort participation?

Periodically funding is available to MRTQ PDN to offer mini-grants.  When these funds are available, MRTQ PDN will share that info with cohort participants before or during the application process.

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