WASHINGTON — The Council for Professional Recognition, the nonprofit organization that supports early childhood education professionals and administers the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential, has released new guidance for training and preparing early educators in the latest edition of Essentials for Working with Young Children.
More than 30 years ago, the first edition of the Essentials was released. Since then, the world has seen many changes and has experienced an increased focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The mission for the Essentials has always been to provide an inclusive, structured way for educators to highlight the competence and confidence they need to support our youngest learners.
Recent events led the Council to be even more committed to advancing equity in the early childhood classroom. In the past few years, there’s been a rise in racial and ethnic tensions, pointing to the need to teach tolerance when young minds are most open. The shortage of early childhood teachers is equally pressing, a persistent issue that took the spotlight during the pandemic. The gap between supply and demand is especially glaring in low-income communities and those of color—precisely the ones that suffered the most significant losses from the pandemic.
The Council partnered with the Children’s Equity Project to ensure that equity was embedded throughout the new edition of the Essentials. This includes a focus on the type of books recommended, techniques for settling conflicts and how best to talk with families. The Essentials also focuses on how teachers can use the microcosm of the classroom to make a macro impact by giving children a sense of social justice when they are young.
“The goal for the new Essentials handbook is to guide teachers in helping young children master skills, develop friendships, grow in independence and move to new levels of thinking and understanding about the world,” says Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr., CEO of the Council. “The result is a curriculum to help build a model world based on tolerance and inclusion.”
To learn more about the latest edition of Essentials for Working with Young Children, visit our most recent article.
The mission of the Council is to promote improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages birth to 5 years old through the CDA. The CDA is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and is a crucial stepping stone to career advancement in early childhood education. To date, close to one million CDA credentials have been issued around the world.