LAYTON, UT – Twenty years ago, Terry Rawley received her Child Development Associate (CDA®) credential, an achievement that stood her in good stead. Three years later, she was hired as director of the early childhood training center and preschool specialist at Layton High School in Utah.
Since then she has gone on to do great things at her school, where she has revised the curriculum to professionalize ECE training and tie it to the CDA. She’s held in high esteem by the 200 students she guides at the training center, the 35 families who entrust her with their most precious treasures and her staff, who rely on her experience and sense of vision.
She sees the big picture beyond Layton High as she works to improve early childhood education statewide. She actively mentors all center directors in both high schools and the private sector. She represents high school directors on the state child care board. She has been influential in recent changes to ensure high school training centers follow state child care laws. And she acts as district and state leader for child care licensing standards.
In short, Rawley is a pro, and she knows the value of a CDA as a steppingstone to her profession.
“My goal for the past few years has been to tweak the ECE curriculum in Utah schools to match the requirements for the CDA offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Working with quite a few people — because it does indeed take a village — we have been able to send out 30 students from our high school alone since 2013,” she said.
Rawley said she believes in the CDA and in the value of early childhood education.
She added: “I wouldn’t continue to do what I do as a trainer and director, teacher and, of course, advocate for children if I didn’t know within the deepest part of myself that developmentally appropriate ECE is the foundation of who we are as a nation.”