Council for Professional Recognition Announces Two Early Childhood Education Leaders as New Board Members

November 22, 2023
For Immediate Release :
November 22, 2023
For More Information :

Usma Mohamed

WASHINGTON, DC — The Council for Professional Recognition, the nonprofit organization that supports early childhood education professionals and administers the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the Governing Board.

Ariel Ford serves as the Division of Child Development and Early Education Director for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Before joining NCDHHS, Ford served as the Deputy Administrator overseeing Chattanooga’s Office of Early Learning. She has been charged with creating a system that works for children and families in both positions. Before moving to Chattanooga, Ford worked in Delaware’s Department of Education on developing state-level systems to improve services and supports for child care programs and educators and oversaw the statewide Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant.

Shannon Bracamonte serves as the Program Operations Director, Early Childhood Services Center of the University of New Mexico. She has been with the university since 2008. Bracamonte has more than 20 years of early childhood development experience, including educational service management, pre-kindergarten coordination, childcare licensing, training/technical services within diverse regions/programming and special education advocacy. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions at various levels, consistently focusing on early childhood education and intervention.

The Council’s CEO, Dr. Calvin Moore Jr., says, “Ariel and Shannon’s wealth of experience in early childhood education will serve us well at the Council and I know I join our other board members in welcoming them to the Council in these roles. The early childhood education sector is facing many challenges and those who’ve earned the Child Development Associate Credential continue to bring to life our vision that all professional early childhood educators and caregivers meet the developmental, emotional and educational needs of our nation’s youngest children. Our work benefits from the experienced and diverse perspectives of all of our board members and I know we can count on Ariel and Shannon to build on this tradition.”

For more information about the Council, visit



The Council for Professional Recognition promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages birth to 5 years old. The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education settings including Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family childcare, and home visitor programs. As a nonprofit organization, the Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing. To date, over 1 million Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials have been issued around the world. For more information, visit


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