Council Letter

October 27, 2021

Now is Our Defining Moment

Dear Colleagues,

The Early Educators Leadership Conference convened this year at a historic moment for our field. The Build Back Better Act will lead to a long-overdue investment in early learning, Usma Mohamed, Council VP of Brand Experience and Marketing, writes in her blog. This bold legislation will allow us to really advance our field. So, let’s get ready to ramp up and make our voices heard. Now’s the time for resilience, renewal and reform, the theme of our recent EELC.

Read our wrap-up of the conference to get a sense of the belonging, learning and love attendees felt at this unique event. Learn about the exciting sessions and seasoned experts who appeared, including Miriam Calderon, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education, and Jing Zhao Cesarone, founder and CEO of ChildWise, who’s brought the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential to China. Get a taste of what they had to say by checking out our video clips: Making the Future of ECE a Reality and CDA Advocate Award Winner 2021.

The passion of speakers like these came through in our Virtual Experience: Building Strong Futures, which offered select conference sessions, along with words from added speakers. Learn more about the diverse experts featured at this online event by reading their profiles this month.

Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz helps Native American children connect to their language and culture. As founder and chief consultant of the First Light Education Project in Denver, she leads a national Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative that advances quality education for Native children. Yazzie-Mintz partners with parents and teachers to build early childhood programs that provide culturally rich opportunities to learn. “We’ve seen parents become researchers,” she says, “and teachers gain the confidence to become active advocates for the communities they serve.”

That’s also the mission of Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a former early childhood teacher, who’s now executive director of the DC Association for the Education of Young Children. Hollowell-Makle is a fierce supporter of early childhood teachers. So, she’s working to ensure educators are paid fairly, campaigning to have the CDA offered to DC residents at no cost and urging all educators to speak out for their field, she explains. “We’re now conducting training sessions to help our educators learn how to be advocates and know how to tell lawmakers their stories.”

There are few folks who are better at telling their story than Council CEO Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr. He exuded commitment when he took the stage at the EELC to share his life lessons on finding your happy and your joy. At the climax of his speech, attendees formed a circle and clapped their hands as a keen sense of unity filled the room.

You can also be part of our community of taking advantage of our CDA Renewal Amnesty Program, available to anyone with a CDA® credential expiration date going back as far as January 1, 2010. The program closes at the end of this year, so don’t miss out. Show your renewed commitment to our profession by making your CDA active again. Join our community of educators as we seize this historic moment for the early childhood field.

With renewed commitment to you,

The Council for Professional Recognition

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