Exploring the Council for Professional Recognition’s Council Alumni Network (CAN)

July 5, 2023

The Council for Professional Recognition’s Council Alumni Network (CAN) recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. This free community boasts 1200+ members. CAN is a diverse group of stakeholders in early childhood education (ECE) across the U.S. and abroad.

What is CAN?

The Council for Professional Recognition established CAN with a mission to provide recognition, resources, and opportunities to participants by cultivating shared best practices, insights, and access to special networks.

Why did the Council develop CAN?

The primary intention behind developing CAN is to foster a sense of belonging and provide ongoing support for those in the ECE community. The Council recognizes the value of creating a platform where educators can come together, collaborate, and continue their growth in the ECE sector. The Council hopes to strengthen the professional network and build a safe place for people to share their experiences and seek support. While the pandemic certainly exacerbated the need for this sort of community, the Council wants to support further educators’ need for connectedness that also improves their wellness and sense of support.

Who is part of the community?

CAN consists of individuals with connections to the CDA, whether current or past. This community is made up of seasoned ECE educators, as well as those just starting their careers, administrators, program directors, mentors, advocates, and other professionals in the sector. Members are from diverse backgrounds, educational institutions, and settings across the United States and internationally.

What can the CAN members gain from being a part of the community?

CAN offers many benefits to its members, ensuring a strong and engaging network. Some of the advantages include:

  • Networking opportunities: Through CAN’s micro-communities, members can meet with like-minded professionals, exchange ideas, and build valuable relationships. CAN provides a platform for meaningful discussions and collaborations.
  • Community and personal wellness: CAN supports community and personal wellness by providing safe spaces for community members to share without judgment. By creating a non-judgmental environment, members can take advantage of wellness sessions that offer opportunities to explore new ways to relieve stress and take a break to talk with their peers.
  • Professional development and career opportunities: CAN members gain access to a wealth of resources, including webinars, articles, and research materials. These resources contribute to continuous learning, skill enhancement, professional growth, and career advancement opportunities.
  • Supportive community: CAN fosters a sense of community and belonging. Members can seek advice, share experiences, and gain support from their peers. The network encourages collaboration, mentorship, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise.
  • Recognition and opportunities: CAN amplifies diverse voices, allowing members from all facets of the field to showcase their achievements and expertise. The network promotes the recognition of professional accomplishments and provides platforms for presenting research, participating in conferences, and contributing to the sector.

What is the CAN Regional Ambassador Program?

Through CAN, the Council has empaneled educators as part of the CAN Ambassador Program. CAN Regional Ambassadors are interested in a leadership position in their local area. CAN Regional Ambassadors help promote the importance of the CDA as part of a unifying framework related to their work in the ECE sector and encourage the use of the resources developed by the Council. There are more than 20 CAN Ambassadors. More information can be found here.


For more information about CAN and upcoming face-to-face and virtual events, visit councilcan.org


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