A new strategic partnership between the Council of Professional Recognition (the Council) and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education(ADECE)will support the state’s First Class Pre-K program by recruiting early childhood professionals,who have successfully obtained their National Child Development Associate (CDA®) credential for classroom support. This collaboration also includes working with the Alabama State Department of Education, Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Workforce Development,as they identify opportunities to expand and adopt the CDA credential as part of their educational qualifications for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the early childhood field.
“Our First Class Pre-K program has been among the nation’s best for quality for more than a decade, in part because of our emphasis on recruiting a workforce specifically trained in developmentally-appropriate, early learning strategies,” said Jeana Ross, secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. “As our First Class Pre-K program continues to expand, the need for qualified teachers will grow exponentially. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on new strategies to recruit and help interested Alabamians pursue a Child Development Associate credential.”
“The Council is so excited about our collaboration with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. This partnership will help high school students achieve the high-quality early childhood education and competency training needed to earn a CDA,” Valora Washington,chief executive officer for the Council for Professional Recognition said. “The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education is providing an important opportunity for high school graduates to be well-prepared early childhood educators in all child care settings by helping them earn a CDA Credential.”
The Council will also help the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education to build lists of licensed child care centers where CDA students can earn the required 480 hours of child care experience required to earn a CDA. In addition, this effort will help increase the number of CDA Professional Development Specialists, who observe CDA candidates during a verification visit as part of the Council’s rigorous credentialing process. The ADECE will also implement the CDA Home Visitor Program,which will help improve the quality of early childhood education in a variety of communities throughout the state.