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.
It’s been a great year. You have just conducted some professional development trainings for the group of teachers you are coaching. You got the opportunity to visit their classrooms and see them in action, do formal and informal CLASS observations, and had countless coaching conversations. You see that it’s all beginning to click. You have the teachers’ buy-in, and the motivation is high.
Before the 2019 InterAct Class Summit in Nashville was even over, we were already excitedly planning 2020! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's take a quick look back at the incredible presenters, attendees, and staff that made 2019 possible. We had nearly 400 participants from all backgrounds—teachers, caregivers, mentors, coaches, trainers, implementation leaders, administrators, assessors, researchers, and more. However, their common passion for improving classroom interactions and empowering life-changing teachers was evident.
Teachstone is pleased to announce that starting June 3rd, we will be launching our public offering of the Child Development Associate with CLASS®. Enrollment will open on May 6. It is a comprehensive online program that supports learners seeking to fulfill the continued education requirements for maintaining their Child Development Associate (CDA) accreditation.
Can we talk about structure? When CLASS entered my life, I was 20 years into my career in the field of early childhood education. What I remember most about that initial training, besides the nervousness about an impending reliability test, was a sense of relief. Structure, including State and program standards, curriculum, materials in the classroom, and approaches to childcare and pedagogy, had dominated my working hours. CLASS was a lot to learn, but for me, it was a breath of fresh air. Observing with CLASS meant I could set aside my obsession with all things structural – which encompassed my thoughts every time I walked into an early childhood classroom.