Action for Children achieves Council for Professional Recognition’s “Gold Seal” as it readies with City funding to train early childhood educators for CDA credential in 2018


Sunbury News Staff Report



Helping 65 early educators meet Step Up To Quality ratings mandate to ensure 28,000 central Ohio children keep their childcare

Columbus, OH, December 26, 2017 – Action for Children, one of only two organizations in Ohio to earn the Council for Professional Recognition’s new Child Development Associate® (CDA) Gold Standard(SM) Training Certification for early childhood education, is preparing to train 65 of central Ohio’s early childhood educators for their CDA certification in partnership with the City in 2018.

The CDA is the paraprofessional credential that is the foundation of the Early Childhood profession. However, for early childhood educators who often do not earn high wages, achieving it can be cost-prohibitive. Thanks to funding from the City of Columbus, 65 educators will participate in Action for Children’s training. Designed to connect what teachers are learning to what they’re doing with kids in the classroom, this intensive coaching model CDA preparation program includes rigorous pre-skill building followed by 12 weeks of classroom instruction and onsite observation of each candidate in their program setting. The program begins January 3, 2018 and ends June 30, 2018.

For Action for Children, earning the new CDA Gold Standard training certification is recognition of its work in collaboration with the Council’s high early childhood education standards and demonstrates its commitment to advancing professional development for CDA students.

In addition to raising the quality bar, that early childhood educators have CDAs is inherent to meeting several of the Step Up to Quality ratings criteria required by statewide mandate for childcare and preschool services.

This statutory requirement, with a looming July 1, 2020 deadline, restricts public funding for child care and preschool to only services provided by programs – child care centers, family child care homes, part-time pre-schools, and public preschools – that participate in Step Up to Quality, Ohio’s continuous quality improvement system for early learning. Statewide and in central Ohio, only about one-third of programs are currently rated, meaning if the deadline was today that 28,000 central Ohio children could lose their childcare as parents would no longer receive assistance to pay for it. And, that would make it difficult for those parents to continue to work.

“There’s no more impactful way to improve early learning than supporting the workforce, strengthening the quality of adult-child interactions. We greatly appreciate the City of Columbus for its leadership in helping Action for Children provide training for 65 CDA candidates in 2018. There’s no more powerful investment the City can make in its future and that these 65 individuals can make in themselves, in their early learning programs, and in the children they teach. And, to be awarded one of the Council for Professional Recognition’s first and highest endorsements for CDA training, the CDA Gold Standard, only strengthens the value to CDA candidates of participating in our program,” said Eric Karolak, CEO, Action for Children.

“Every child born in Columbus should have an equal shot at the middle class. That starts with access to high-quality pre-K classrooms, which helps prepare children for success in kindergarten, in school, and in the workplace,” said Columbus City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown. “I am grateful to Action for Children for providing CDA training to our teachers, which contributes to the overall goal of increasing the number of high-quality early childcare providers in our city.”

“We believe that our new CDA Gold Standard adds value and integrity to the early childhood profession by verifying connections between the Council’s proven competencies and the quality of training resources available to CDA students,” said Valora Washington, chief executive officer, Council for Professional Recognition.

About Action for Children

Now in its 45th year, Action for Children, transforms the lives of nearly 50,000 central Ohio children each year by supporting, empowering, and advocating for the adults who make the biggest impact on their lives—their parents, caregivers, and teachers. It’s our mission and it’s built upon our vision that all children, when supported by strong families and a vibrant community, have access to early learning experiences that prepare them for success in school and in life. For more information visit: www.ActionforChildren.org.

About the Council For Professional Recognition

For more than 30 years, the Council for Professional Recognition has been the leader in promoting improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages zero to 5 years old. The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education settings – Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family childcare, and home visitor programs. As a non-profit agency, the Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the industry leading training books and workbooks, including its CDA Competency Standards and Essentials textbook and workbook (2nd edition). Visit: www.cdacouncil.org

About Step Up To Quality

Step Up To Quality is a quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development programs. It means highly trained teachers, development of school readiness skills, commitment to continuous improvement and focus on family engagement. It was created by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Bureau of Child care and Development and the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Learning and School Readiness to improve the quality of early childcare and education in Ohio. For more information: www.earlychildhoodohio.org

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Sunbury News Staff Report