Commit to Your Community – 24 Hours a Day!

Sophia Eversole, Kentucky

I postponed getting my CDA because I already had a two-year degree in Social Work. However, over time it became clear that earning a CDA had value for me. Even though I have been working in early childhood education since 1987, I finally applied for the CDA. The reason was that I wanted to deepen my knowledge of child development and meet other professionals on a regular basis, which would help in my understanding of the profession.button

Being connected to my peers helped me realize that difficulties are common, shared, and can be better addressed together. Finishing the process of earning my CDA helped me see the big picture. It made me want to know how child development theory fits with the practice; it gave me clarity on best practices.

I am now one class away from my Associates Degree in Early Education. I work as director of a center which serves 80 children, and I have found that continued professional development is crucial for me in this position. The program at our center is non-traditional, serving kids from birth through age 13. The Center opens at 5:00 a.m. and closes at 2:00 a.m., in order to serve parents working in factories, hospitals, and restaurants. Most children in the Center come from single parent households.

In my center, I have put strong emphasis on professional development, and I encourage my staff to engage all the learning opportunities the state of Kentucky provides. When hiring new staff, I noticed that many people lack the confidence and skills to use a computer to facilitate their daily work. Now when hiring people, I help the individual become more comfortable and familiar with technology. Fear of new things has not hindered my staff, who are deeply committed to kids and to the profession. Some of my teachers started without even their GEDs, but then they pursued the Commonwealth Childcare Credential, the CDA, and even completed their AA degrees! Working together raised their confidence levels, and their examples encouraged others to join and go back to school. As an incentive, I raise the hourly wage by $1 for every additional training course completed.

I am very active in the field of early childhood education. I am a co-chair of the Early Childhood Council which serves three counties. Through the Kids Now initiative, the Council offers mini grants to area providers to be used for classroom items and educational materials. My center is located in the middle of a community where everyone helps each other. Ten families helped our center move! I am proud of our strong connection to the community we serve.


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