CDA Now, CDA for the Future
“I have a dream,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”—words that stirred a massive crowd when Dr. King pronounced them at the March on Washington in 1963. And Dr. King’s dream still had the power to move us all as we marked his birthday this month. They should also encourage our teachers to keep striving for equity in early learning, a core value here at the Council.
We’re determined to reach it, though our field is facing roadblocks at this time. The hot debate over vaccine mandates has made its way into schools. And it’s not a new issue, as we point out in our blog, Should Teachers Talk About COVID? Teachers have long been in a tricky place as they try to honor both the wisdom of science and the wishes of vaccine-resistant parents. This conflict adds to the stress they now feel from the problems brought on by the pandemic. Loss of loved ones, isolation, and changes in routine have led to a mental health crisis among our kids, and it’s raised alarms nationwide. But our children aren’t the only ones who’ve suffered losses. Our early childhood teachers also have fears and concerns that make it harder for them to help the children heal. So, we must mind our teachers’ mental health, as Dr. Calvin Moore points out.
Dr. Moore also urged our field to reckon more with race in what was among the most popular EdSurge podcasts of 2021. “The U.S. is now focusing more on issues of bias,” he says, “so the ECE profession should seize the moment by stepping up its efforts to nix prejudice early on.”
And this month we profile a few of the folks who’ve gotten the message. Read about Mimi and Hwaida Hassanein, the owners of Kids Villa, where children from all cultures feel loved. Hwaida also has a training center, where she guides people worldwide in getting their CDA®. The credential has opened doors for the diverse teachers she serves. And the CDA has made a difference for Janna Rodriguez, a family child care provider who gives children of color the confidence they need. Janna just earned her CDA and she, too, has more confidence now as a teacher. She also has big plans for the future and hopes to start her own child care center soon.
Janna recently made the news as an advocate for the early childhood field. And advocacy is also on our minds—more and more in these trying days. So, we recently welcomed a new director of public policy to our ranks. A CDA holder, former preschool teacher and attorney, Brionnea Williams-McClary knows the value of the credential as a strong step toward success.
You’ll learn more ways to get ahead when we explore Leading Career Pathways to Equity at our Early Educators Leadership Conference this fall. Check out what’s ahead at the EELC Corner. And don’t forget to join our Virtual Advocacy Day during the week of March 28, 2022. Save the date to tell Congress that having more CDA-credentialed teachers will help more young children receive the early learning they need—now and in the future. Sure, we’ve been making our case for some time, but we shall overcome the obstacles we face. “The arc of the moral universe is long,” as Dr. King knew, “but it bends towards justice.” Together, we can fulfill our dream of equity in education.
With our warmest regards, now and in the future,
The Council for Professional Recognition