Deputy Executive Director
Organization: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Marica Cox Mitchell is responsible for the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) major efforts in accreditation and professional recognition. As Deputy Executive Director, her portfolio includes public policy and advocacy, accreditation of early learning programs, higher education accreditation and the new Power to the Profession initiative.
Marica has been in the early childhood education field for more than 18 years and has worked in both administrative and classroom settings. Before assuming her current role, she served as the Director of Higher Education Accreditation for NAEYC. Prior to this position, she led the Early Childhood Professional Development Unit at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education where she developed and monitored a wide range of professional development resources designed to increase the quality of early learning programs and advance cohorts of early childhood professionals. These resources included the TEACH Early Childhood DC educator scholarship program, DC Career Guide for Early Childhood and Out of School Time Professionals, DC Trainer Approval Program and accreditation facilitation projects. She also worked with stakeholders to evaluate and propose enhancements to the DC Quality Rating and Improvement System. She was promoted to Director of School Preparedness (Readiness) before her departure from the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Marica also facilitated the pilot and implementation of the Full Service Community School Model while serving as a specialist with the District of Columbia Public Schools. Early in her career, she coordinated the launch of NAEYC’s Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system.
Marcia began her early childhood professional journey working in early childhood programs as a teacher assistant, teacher and curriculum specialist. These varied experiences and perspectives inspire her to focus on advancing professional practice, voice and recognition. Marica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of the District of Columbia and a Master’s of Science degree in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton.