Calling ALL Maryland Early Educators

July 27, 2022

The Time to Apply for the CDA is Now

The Maryland State Department of Education has partnered with the Council for Professional Recognition to encourage the state’s early childhood educators to earn or renew a Child Development Associate®, the premier credential in ECE. The Council is excited to leverage the CDA® and expand ECE career development with funding that’s available now!


Why Should Maryland Early Childhood Teachers Earn a CDA?

Listen to Dr. Sonia Pruneda-Hernandez, who started her ECE career by earning a CDA and is now Senior Director/Chair for Early Childhood Education Programs at Montgomery College. She encourages Maryland educators to earn the CDA as a stepping stone to their next career goal in ECE. “The CDA means something,” she passionately believes, so she encourages students to apply while the funding is still available to them. She also urges directors to make their staff aware of the grant. Having CDA-credentialed educators working at their centers is good for both the children and the program.


Earning a CDA Can Be Career Changing

Nicole Bastfield, a Baltimore, MD, provider, had thought about getting a CDA for some time. “But I had pushed it aside,” she recalls, “until I received word of the state’s new CDA program.” Now that she’s earned her CDA, she tells other providers to earn the credential, too. “The CDA is an industry standard,” Nicole says. “I wanted to have it for myself because it’s a way to show parents that I’m a quality provider who can offer the best care for their youngsters.”

An added plus of earning a CDA is “the chance to build a peer network,” says Crystal Barksdale, a Randallstown, MD, provider who renewed her credential through the grant. Crystal has been a fan of the CDA since earning it in 2012 and serves on an advisory group that urged the state to help people earn their CDA. Still, she was so busy with her business that she put off renewing it until hearing about the grant. “I put a lot of work into my CDA training,” she says, “so I wanted to keep the credential. The grant gave me a chance to do so without spending a lot of money.”


The application deadline for funding has been extended but is still only available for a limited time. Take the next step in your ECE career with help from the Maryland grant.

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