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.

Who can join an Accreditation Cohort?

Any owner/director/or designee with an interest in and time to work towards renewing or achieving accreditation, and who agrees to the Memorandum of Agreement: Accreditation Cohort MOA.

In addition, for those interested in NAFCC accreditation, you must be 21 years of age before or during the cohort, must have a HS diploma/GED/HiSET, and have at least 6 months of experience as a family child care business owner.

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. 

How do I join an Accreditation Cohort?

If you are interested in joining an Accreditation Cohort, please go here to place a request: Accreditation Cohort Request

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 my staff become ‘active’ Registry members?

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

When do the Accreditation Cohorts begin and how long do they last?

Based on demand, new cohorts begin every 6 – 8 months and convene for up to 18 months.  Depending on your program’s readiness you may be able to complete the accreditation process during that time frame.

Programs cannot join an accreditation cohort that is already in progress.

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.

How often and for how long do the cohorts meet?

Cohorts meet monthly for up to 2 hours via video conference (Zoom) with possible in-person sessions as decided by the group (post pandemic).

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

In order to meet your submission timeline, in addition to the meeting time, there will be activities to work on between meetings to complete accreditation standards (approximately 4-10 hours per month which will vary depending on the standard and the work required by your program to meet that standard).

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/GED/HiSET and show that they will be able to meet the accreditation standard during the cohort period.

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

Attendees of the cohort meetings will receive MRTQ PDN professional growth hours.  MRTQ PDN Professional growth hours will be accepted by Maine Child Care Licensing to meet yearly training requirements.


What are the technology needs?

To participate in a cohort it is necessary to have reliable phone service and/or internet access as well as email.  

During a cohort meeting, it is common to view and share documents via Zoom. Doing so via computer is recommended although some have been successful using a smartphone.

MRTQ PDN will do their best to support individuals who are lacking access to technology or who need additional supports to enable inclusion in the cohort. 

At this time, in order to achieve accreditation, programs are required to submit documents to the accrediting body electronically.

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.

What happens if I can’t attend a meeting?

MRTQ PDN understands that there may be emergency situations where an individual is unable to attend or participate in a meeting. Participants can miss a maximum of two meetings.

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 details below for NAFCC and NAEYC. For information about COA fees, please contact

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.