Image: Edward Zigler, assisted by Marilyn M. Smith, presents the first CDA Credential to Margaret E. Wright on July 24, 1975, in Washington, DC (Source - Council for Professional Recognition).
For 54 years, Head Start has prepared children for Kindergarten by providing services that foster growth in their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. In the words of former President Obama, “For millions of families, Head Start has been a lifeline. And for millions of kids, it’s been the start of a better life.”
For nearly 45 years, the Council for Professional Recognition has awarded the Child Development Associate Credential™. The passing this year of Dr. Ed Zigler, known as the Father of Head Start, provides an opportunity to celebrate what this credential has meant to the field. The CDA has, for more than 425,000 credential holders, been the pathway to a career in early childhood, a degree in early childhood and in many cases, led to increased wages.
The CDA is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and is a minimum education requirement for Head Start center-based preschool assistant teachers, center-based infant and toddler teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors. CDA candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Today, Teachstone offers the CDA with CLASS® which covers all of the competencies required by the Council, as well as the elements of CLASS® which improve the interactions caregivers and teachers have with the children in their care. Over 200 research studies demonstrate that children in classrooms with more effective teacher-child interactions, as rated by CLASS, have better social and academic outcomes.
For Head Start, the CDA continues to be a pathway into the teaching field. We are so proud to provide a CDA program backed by the ever-growing research around teacher-child interactions. While acquiring the CDA is a big commitment, here are the top reasons to consider obtaining the credential:
Already have your CDA? We offer the CDA Renewal with CLASS® which provides all the hours and information needed to renew the credential you worked so hard to earn.
At Teachstone, our driving vision is to ensure every child experiences life-changing teaching. This mission is why we’re making a commitment to restabilize and improve education for every child, and every educator. And, we know that bringing this commitment to life requires providing education leaders with the support they need to not only face the current challenges, but that will propel towards the future of quality and equity.
Perhaps your school is already fully in person or using hybrid instruction. Or maybe you, like nearly half of the participants in our recent webinar Three Keys to Building a Blueprint for Reopening, are still completely virtual and looking ahead to when staff and students can be together again.
Since 2018, over 10,000 educators and counting have enrolled in a CDA with CLASS® program. That’s a milestone in and of itself. But when you zoom out, it means that tens of thousands of children are now cared for by these professionals. And, when you think of the number of meaningful, high-quality interactions that happen each and every day? It’s not unreasonable to think that there are a hundred thousand or more brain-building moments that happen daily because learners have enrolled in a CDA with CLASS program.
The 2021 InterAct CLASS Summit brought together incredible speakers and practitioners from across the globe. It energized us, emboldened us, and excited us about new opportunities - like myCoach Connect.
myCoach Connect, developed in partnership with Torsh Inc., will transform how you view, receive, and deliver practice-based coaching to teachers in your program. It brings together innovative technology from Torsh with Teachstone’s staff of expert, certified CLASS® coaches to drive program improvement, classroom quality, and student outcomes.