Ready, Set, Grow!

The “Ready, Set, Grow!” (RSG) program is a child care accreditation program run by the University of Memphis. The RSG program evaluates programs using standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The NAEYC uses the following ten standards to assess quality child care programs:

  1. The program promotes positive relationships among all children and adults to encourage each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and to foster each child’s ability to contribute as a responsible community member.
  2. The program implements a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive. 
  3. The program uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the program’s curriculum goals.
  4. The program is informed by ongoing systematic, formal, and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children’s learning and development. These assessments occur within the context of reciprocal communications with families and with sensitivity to the cultural contexts in which children develop. Assessment results are used to benefit children by informing sound decisions about children, teaching, and program improvement.
  5. The program promotes the nutrition and health of children and protects children and staff from illness and injury.
  6. The program employs and supports a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
  7. The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings. These relationships are sensitive to family composition, language, and culture.
  8. The program establishes relationships with and uses the resources of the children’s communities to support the achievement of program goals.
  9. The program has a safe and healthful environment that provides appropriate and well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical environments. 
  10. The program effectively implements policies, procedures, and systems that support stable staff and strong personnel, fiscal, and program management so all children, families, and staff have high quality experiences.

In addition to evaluating the child care program, directors of each program must have at least nine college credits in leadership and management of early childhood education. RSG helps directors enroll in the necessary courses at the University of Memphis. Directors can pay for it themselves, have their employer pay or apply for tuition assistance through the Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA).  In exchange for tuition assistance (75% - 80%), recipients must attend a no-cost orientation for thirty hours. Upon completion of the accreditation process, directors mentor other directors going through the accreditation process. Currently, there are 30 centers in Memphis that are NAEYC accredited.

To learn more about the Ready, Set, Grow Program or apply for accreditation, please visit their website.


Overview of the NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Retrieved from:

University of Memphis Ready Set Grow Program. Retrieved from: