A Push Forward

Delriese Hamilton, Virgin Islands (CounciLINK, September 2013)

CDA Stories

Delriese Hamilton – Early Head Start Teacher, US Virgin Islands

Delriese Hamilton is an Early Head Start Teacher on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Delriese, like many early educators, takes pride in her work – she understands the important role she has in the lives of young children. When asked what she enjoys most about working with children, she stated, “Working with children allows me to work on hearts and minds. It gives me the opportunity to guide children in becoming empowered, literate, engaged, creative, liberated, human beings.”

When Delriese applied to the Early Head Start program in St. Croix, she learned that she would need to obtain her CDA Credential in order to stay and advance in the program. She began her journey to obtain a CDA Credential with online training courses through Smart Horizon.

Delriese remembers the CDA credentialing process, stating, “Despite the fact that the process was slow, I must say I enjoyed the networking opportunities, as well as the constructive criticism.” The constructive criticism came from her CDA Advisor, who took time out to share a number of innovative ideas to help Delriese move forward after being observed.

Delriese is excited to finally have her Infant/Toddler CDA Credential, saying, “The CDA Credential is respected, I feel like I can check off yet another goal. The CDA Credential is the best first step for early educators, however, it validates that I not only have child care knowledge but also experience. I advise other early childhood providers to pursue their CDA, to change with the times, to push themselves forward. Child development research is updated every day and in order to be an effective teacher in this field, you should challenge yourself, keep current, get your CDA Credential and keep it current.”

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