Becoming a CDA Started Everything

Kendra Barnes, Louisiana

Hello! My name is Kendra T. Barnes, and I wanted to share my story, because I was very fortunate to become a CDA at a crucial point in the history of Early Childhood Education. I had a chance to become a CDA in 2003 but decided to pass on it because at the time I was pregnant and did not want to go to the late night classes that were being given. Thank heavens my employer at the time (NAS Jacksonville Child Development Center) gave me a second chance and offered to pay their employees’ fees for the process of becoming a CDA. I partnered with a great friend/co-worker (Sylvia McBride), and we tag-teamed in getting all the information for the resource file and helped each other with encouragement to complete those competency goals. If you have someone to tag team with, it is a great idea. After completing my observations and submitting the information to Washington, I was nervous as ever because I knew the next step was to take the test and submit all that I had wrote about myself, and how I gave back to the Early Childhood field in serving and caring for the children in my care. The test went fine and the CDA Representative made me feel comfortable enough that I was not so nervous when it came time for the test. I knew I did a great job, and so I waited to here from the Council. When I received the award letter and my credential in the mail, it was a feeling of accomplishment and made me want to continue in going much further with my career as an Early Childhood caregiver.button

All those nights of putting my daughter to sleep early so that I could work on the writing of my goals and the early Saturday mornings going to the library paid off big time. You see, at the time I did not have a computer at home and had to make several trips to the library for research and to make copies, I would have a purse full of dimes!!! (for the copier at the library). Once I received and renewed three years later, I went on and began my journey in obtaining my degree in Early Childhood Education, and I’m still pushing through in that journey.

The great thing about having a CDA is that it is a national certification. I started in Florida and then moved to Louisiana where it was recognized and did help me in finding a job at the local Child Care Resource and Referral (Volunteers of America Partnerships In Child Care). In my current position I do work with people who work in child care, and I also conduct classes for child care centers and home providers that need a certain amount of hours to continue to be registered through the state. About three months ago, I got my acceptance letter from the Council to be an Advisor. In being an Advisor I can now help those in child care become a CDA also. My next step is to become a Council Representative and administer test to those aspiring people who want to make Early Childhood a better place for our children. I wish that I would have known about this program long before 2003, and because I do know about it, I tell all who work with children about it.

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