This month marks my second year at the Council for Professional Recognition. When I first arrived at the Council, I was no stranger to the organization or its mission, as I had been involved with it for many years. I certainly had my thoughts and ideas of what I wanted to focus on during my initial tenure.
Supporting early educators is at the core of what we do, and the past year was no different. There is no denying that challenges remain for our early educators. With our youngest learners ineligible for vaccines and continuing staff shortages, our mission to support early educators was magnified and drove us to make sure we were helping our ECE educators in any way we could.
During the last 12 months, I have relied heavily on our CDA® Advisory Committee. These individuals are my eyes and ears on the ground every day, helping me understand the classroom’s struggles and triumphs.
The Council’s Governing Board provides me with their depth of knowledge while using their expertise as a sounding board. In December, I was pleased to welcome several new members: Dr. Sandy Baba, senior adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College; Dr. Stacie Goffin, founder and principal of the Goffin Strategy Group LLC and Jim Heath, principal at 3L Coaching LLC, whose voice and experience we were able to use immediately. Jim shared the importance of high-quality early education, and the role business can play in supporting it in an op-ed in the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
We know it is essential that every part of our system centers around equity and identifies actionable ways to address it. Every aspect of our credentialing process must reflect the diversity in the field and give educators the tools to ensure their students are successful and improve the learning conditions of young children of color and children from historically marginalized communities. I am so proud of our work with the Children’s Equity Project, which focuses on increasing early educators’ knowledge, awareness, and understanding on issues of equity, bias, and systemic racism.
I am re-energized that I will see so many of you live and in-person in October for the Early Educators Leadership Conference (EELC). The energy and enthusiasm you bring to this event inspires me to do my best.
As I look forward to the next 12 months, the work of early educators and the nearly 1 million CDAs makes my job a joy and one I look forward to every day.