Advancing Early Childhood Education Competence: What is on the Horizon for the Council?

October 27, 2022

Dr. Calvin Moore shared that when he first arrived at the Council and took on the CEO role, he was focused on assessing the early childhood education (ECE) landscape, the reach of the organization and what the Council could do to advance the profession.

He spent time speaking to the Council’s Board, the Child Development Associate® (CDA) Advisory Committee, Council staff and experts in the field. He appreciated that the Council was supporting educators by providing content, resources and more, but he and others wanted it to take the work further.

The result, with support from the Board, was setting a new ambitious goal: “Advancing Early Childhood Education (ECE) competence as a field of practice by expanding the use of the National CDA Competency Standards to unify the field’s performance around equitable and evidence-based early childhood educator pedagogical practices.” National CDA Competency Standards are proven and trusted but they needed to meet current needs for equitable, pedagogical practices that would be backed by the Council’s legacy of evidence-based approaches.

There are six CDA competencies:

  1. To establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment
  2. To advance physical and intellectual competence
  3. To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance
  4. To establish positive and productive relationships with families
  5. To ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs
  6. To maintain a commitment to professionalism

The Council promotes these competencies as paramount for educators to understand and use in the classroom and with children.

As the first CDA-holder to lead the Council, Dr. Moore knows just how interwoven these six competencies are with one another. During the pandemic, he often heard people worried about being able to keep children in a safe and healthy environment. Also, helping advance physical and intellectual competence was very important over the past two years with the discussion and reality of children’s learning loss.

At the top of Dr. Moore’s list also is being able to help centers run the most effective professional development programs. With where we are and with so many centers closing during the pandemic, the Council recognizes programs must be responsive to the needs of families.

Supporting ECE is at the heart of everything being done at the Council. The Council has also recently partnered with the Children’s Equity Project to increase the knowledge, awareness and understanding of early educators on issues of equity, bias and systemic racism to ensure that equity is front and center in everything.

Dr. Moore wants to be sure that the Council and others are showcasing and recognizing the CDA standards as leading in the ECE field. He acknowledges there is undoubtedly more work to be done, for example, at higher education institutions and other organizations.

Dr. Moore said that the Council is in the beginning stages of conversations about what success will look like. Part of this effort will focus on sharing the expertise among the Council’s leadership, staff and supporters. It will be important for the organization to become further recognized as the go-to expert in assessing the ECE competencies.

Dr. Moore has known the members of the Council’s Board for many years and was encouraged that the Board was willing to think innovatively and outside the box.

Dr. Moore said that more changes will be coming to capture this type of innovative thinking. The Council is strengthening its commitment to being a learning organization that always wants to put its best foot forward. Dr. Moore shared that he likes being a part of an organization that is constantly growing and looking to improve what it does every day.

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