Council Letter

March 23, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Every child needs a champion to succeed. As teachers, we often fill that role by helping young learners reach for the stars and fulfill their dreams. Still, we can’t stand up for children if we don’t stand up for ourselves. And that’s crucial for the many early childhood teachers who are struggling to survive. Their fierce commitment to the ECE profession is rarely reflected in their paychecks and about a third of our teachers rely partly on public assistance.

They’re mad and some of them won’t take it anymore. In Connecticut, child care providers across the state closed their doors for two hours on Tuesday, March 14, to rally for their profession. In a “Morning Without Childcare,” hundreds of teachers, advocates, parents and children showed up and urged lawmakers to provide more funding for a sector that’s severely short staffed. The point was to highlight what could happen if early childhood teachers keep fleeing the field for better-paying jobs.

And it’s a systemic problem that plagues states nationwide. “We’ve been fighting this battle since the 70s,” said Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, executive director of the Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement, which provides bilingual child care and education in Berkely, California. “We’ve marched and we’ve protested and fought. It feels like we’ve been fighting this battle forever.”

“The Council has long supported this crusade, but we’ve always relied on others to advocate for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™,” said Dr. Calvin Moore in a recent podcast. “Now we’ve decided to use our own voice to tell our story, and then ignite our network.” This month, the Council is holding a Virtual Capitol Hill Day, when we’ll urge states to give the CDA more funding and support.

Over 300 CDA holders will meet with members of Congress to explain why raising the number of teachers with CDAs will help more young children receive the care they need. The educators will make their case by presenting State Fact Sheets that include stories about some of our wonderful CDAs. Read the fact sheets to learn about Sheronda, a North Carolina teacher who tells us how “the CDA enhanced my skills, increased my confidence in the classroom and allowed me to exceed the requirements of my job.” Hear from Cedric, who says “the CDA has made me a better teacher” for children in Nevada, and from Paige, who guides Tennessee high school students in earning their CDA. Paige likes the credential because “it’s very hands on so you know what you’re getting into when you pursue a career in ECE.”

That includes a lot of hard work and low pay, so you must love what you do. And this month, we profile two CDA holders who have the commitment it takes. Read about Tyneesha Parker, who gave up a well-paying retail career to pursue her lifelong dream of teaching children. Learn about Rochelle Mullins, a teacher with 38 years in the field and a gift for bringing children to new heights. Yet she needs to work part-time in a grocery store so she can make ends meet. “Early childhood teachers are sometimes looked down on,” Rochelle says. “But when you look up to all the doctors, lawyers and firefighters out there, you should acknowledge that we’re the ones who lay the foundation for their success.”

So, the Council is speaking out for our CDA holders by raising a Collective Voice on Capitol Hill. Now more than ever, as Dr. Moore tells, we need to get the point across that we can’t help children reach their dreams unless we can achieve our own dreams for reasonable wages and respect. And training more CDAs can help because teachers who are qualified and credentialed have more clout to get what they deserve. As we keep waging this long fight for what’s fair, we can draw strength from the words of the great political activist Harriet Tubman. “Every dream begins with a dreamer,” she said. “Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars.”

Keep rallying for what’s right,
The Council for Professional Recognition


Recently Posted:

Blog - Text Search
Blog - Category Search
Blog - Search by Tags
Blog - Publish Date