Pathways Accreditation

Questions & Answers

Q: There are other accreditation systems available for early childhood centers. Why should I choose Pathways?
A: A major reason is that Pathways is rigorous, but user-friendly. It is open, transparent and collaborative. Our unique web application readiness inventory tool lets you create your lists of tasks, and automatically track your progress. If, during the formal application phase corrective action is needed, you have the time to make changes, without having to pay the application fee again. We are available for technical support throughout the process.

Q: Is Pathways less rigorous than other systems of accreditation?
A: No! It is very rigorous, with 500 quality indicator compiled and synthesized from widely accepted standards, regulations and guidelines from numerous resources. One feature that appeals to professionals in the field is that experience and non-credit bearing professional development is valued along with academic level.

Q: Is Pathways available for centers beyond the vicinity of Rochester, NY?
A: Yes. Pathways is currently reaching customers across New York State, with plans to service customers wherever they are located.

Q: What is the fee structure for Pathways?
A: Select fee structure to check the costs. One advantage of our fee structure is that there are no penalty fees. 

Q: If my child care agency has several sites, do I need an application kit for each?
A: Yes. Along with the kit, you will receive a password and user name unique to one site. This will give you access to the readiness inventory tool during the Readiness for Formal Application phase.

Q: What is the timeline for acquiring Pathways implementation?
A: The beauty of Pathways is that you create your own timeline. The first item of business for the director is to develop a timeline with self-imposed deadlines including:

  • How and when staff review the class observation instruments
  • Stages of gathering the permanent products
  • Completion of action items generated from the self-assessment tool and review of classroom observation instruments
  • Distribution and collection of parent and staff surveys
  • Target date for submission of readiness inventory tool  and binder of administrative records

This timeline should be submitted to Children’s Institute, so that it can be used to project dates for setting up site observations and the director’s interview in phase three.

Q: What does the application kit contain?
A: Included in the kit is a guide that describes in detail each of the phases of Pathways accreditation, a paper copy of the readiness inventory tool (the one that will be submitted for the formal application is in electronic form), the list of administrative records that will be needed for the review, a sample parent information letter, samples of surveys, and the checklists for the procedures, safety and hygiene practices, equipment expectations, ratio requirements, and staff training requirements. Also included are copies of the assessment instruments that are used for the basis of classroom observations. Each kit will contain user name and password, that can be used later in the readiness for formal application phase.

Q: How can I order a kit?
A: Use the order form to pay by credit card or check. Or call 585-295-1000, ext. 236, to pay by credit card over the phone. 

Q: Our administrative team consists of: Executive Director, Director of Finance & Operations, Assistant to the Directors and Mentor Teacher. Both Executive Director and Mentor Teacher deal primarily with the program side and have lots of ECE education & experience, the Director of Finance & Operations and Assistant to the Directors deal primarily with the business side of things and their education is in that area. Since the Leadership Education table focuses on ECE education, is the entire administrative staff included or only those of us who deal with the program side?
A: All of your leadership team may be included. Leadership team is defined as those individuals with decision-making responsibility and program implementation and administration duties. 
Note: You will want to consider whether the assistant to the directors has program oversight, or is functioning mainly in support of the administrative team.

Q: How can I find out more about Pathways?
A: You are welcome to attend our next discussion group, where staff will introduce you to the user-friendly web application, and answer all your questions. You can also contact (Kim Avery) at 585-295-1000, ext. 294.



(585) 295-1000 (phone)
(585) 295-1090 (fax)
(877) 888-7647 (toll-free)




Children's Institute equips and supports those who work with children to ensure the success of every child.
Children’s Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

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