National Organizations


National, Non-federal Organizations Serving the ECE Community

Numerous non-federal, national organizations serve a variety of needs for the ECE community. Some provide direct assistance to parents looking for ECE facilities while others pursue advocacy work on Capitol Hill.  Some have pursued obesity prevention efforts.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Administers the federal Healthy Child Care America campaign and the Child Care Health Partnership, and serves as the National Center on Health for the federal Head Start program. The AAP also administers the Bright Futures program, a national initiative designed to promote health and help prevent diseases within families and communities. Bright Futures’ principles and guidelines are designed to target settings where children spend time, such as pediatric practices and ECE programs.

Child Care Aware (CCA): A nonprofit organization, formerly known as the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, dedicated to providing training and technical assistance to local and state Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs). Child Care Aware has developed an online obesity prevention course for ECE providers, available at

Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN):  Partners provide technical assistance to improve the quality of early care and education and school-age care, helping states, territories, and tribes to reach their Child Care and Development Fund program goals. Click here for an overview of the network.

Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC): Nonprofit alliance of national, regional, and independent providers of child care and early learning and development programs for young children. ECEC supports strategies and advocates legislation that promotes the development and funding of high-quality early care and education. Directly or through advocacy grants, ECEC has convened partners, drafted legislation, bussed parents and teachers to statehouses, trained providers on how to lobby, and pressed for increased funding.

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)Nonprofit organization that uses comprehensive national, state, and local strategies to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. FRAC develops tools and resources related to the CACFP program, including a CACFP wellness toolkit.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)Nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. NAFCC seeks to strengthen support systems for individual family child care providers; promotes a professional accreditation program; delivers effective training programs to family child care providers; and advocates for family child care providers.

National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA)International professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in human care regulation and licensing. NARA represents all human care licensing, including adult residential and assisted living, adult day care, child care, child welfare, and program licensing for services related to mental illness, developmental disabilities, and abuse of drugs or alcohol.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC): Nonprofit association sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs and accredits programs that meet these standards.

National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP): Professional association for ECE directors with the goal to improve, enhance, and strengthen the credibility of ECE providers through services such as training and benefits such as accreditation. NACCP focuses on the management of ECE facilities.

National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP): Compiles annual Early Childhood Profiles that highlight states’ policy choices that promote health, education, and strong families alongside other contextual data related to the well-being of young children. Profiles include a section on early care and education that highlights state choices to promote access to care and quality.


National Child and Adult Care Food Sponsors Association (NCA): Organization for sponsors who administer the USDA child and adult care food program (CACFP) that provides education and support to CACFP sponsors across the country and strives to improve communication between individual sponsors and between the sponsors and their supervising government agencies.

National Child Care Association (NCCA)National trade organization serves private, licensed child care centers and homes through state chapters. They provide training and support for private child care providers as well as annual meetings.

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission, Inc. (NECPA)Nonprofit association sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs and accredits programs that meet these standards.

National Head Start Association (NHSA): Private, nonprofit membership organization representing Head Start children, staff, and programs in the United States.

National Resource Center for Health & Safety in Child Care & Early Education (NRC): Provides free up-to-date resources through its website and 800 number (1-800-598-5437). NRC co-edits, with support from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards for Early Care and Education (CFOC) and has produced a variety of obesity prevention materials for state policy makers, ECE providers, and families, including an assessment of the extent to which each state’s licensing regulations contain language that is consistent with CFOC obesity prevention standards. CFOC co-editors and publishing partners with NRC are the American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics (below).[/learn_more]

National Training Institute for Child Care Health Consultants (NTI)National train-the-trainer program prepares child health and child care professionals to train child care health consultants (CCHCs) in their state, territory, or community.

National Women’s Law Center (NWLC): Nonprofit association works to expand the possibilities for women and girls by getting new laws on the books and enforced, litigating ground-breaking cases, and educating the public about ways to make laws and public policies work for women and their families. Focuses on education, employment, family and economic security, and health and reproductive rights—with special attention given to the needs of low-income women and their families.


Nemours: A children’s health system devoted to treating and preventing illnesses from birth through adolescence.  Nemours has been working on a multi-sector comprehensive statewide approach to addressing childhood obesity since 2004; focused on policy and practice changes that improve the environments where children live, learn and play.  Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for Healthier America and a founding partner of Healthy Kids, Healthy Future.  Nemours also partnered with federal and private partners to support hte First Lady’s Let’s Move! Child Care initiative.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU): 
Union for early learning professionals across the country advocates and lobbies for quality child care and more resources for child care providers.

Zero To Three:—
National nonprofit organization supports the healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers, and their families through a range of activities that inform, educate, and support the adults who influence very young children’s lives.