Educators can now earn college credit while pursuing the Childhood Development Associate (CDA)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.— As many child care centers and PreK programs reopen this fall, numerous providers are looking for ways to support their teachers at a time when families need experienced child care educators more than ever. A new partnership between Teachstone and the University of Virginia helps new and veteran educators strengthen their practice and earn college credit from one of the nation’s premiere universities.
Through the partnership, UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies will offer a series of online courses delivered in collaboration with Teachstone that culminate in the industry standard Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Educators who complete the courses earn nine college credits from UVA – which can build toward a bachelor’s degree.
The courses are based on Teachstone’s CDA with CLASS® program that provides child-care and early childhood education practitioners with a strong foundation in child development and a research-based understanding of how to foster positive interactions with children that result in learning and social emotional development.
“In the midst of COVID-19, we’ve seen unprecedented turnover among early childhood educators and caregivers, creating unique challenges in quickly training up a new early childhood workforce. As we welcome many new educators to our field, this fully online program is designed to help educators strengthen their understanding of child development and effective teaching strategies, while advancing their careers in the field,” said Teachstone CEO Bridget Hamre.
CDA with CLASS is the only program that blends the requirements of a CDA credential with Teachstone’s CLASS methodology, the industry standard for measuring student-teacher interactions and improving the teaching and learning experience, and has received the CDA Gold Standard™ Certification from the Council for Professional Recognition.
“The University of Virginia is home to world-class early learning faculty who are advancing new understanding in the fields of child development and early learning. In fact, it was UVA researchers who developed the groundbreaking CLASS methodology that now informs these courses,” said Alex Hernandez, Dean of UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. “We are excited to help early childhood educators gain new skills and take an important step towards completing their college degrees, particularly in this moment when educators deserve every possible support.”
“We are proud UVA will provide educators with stackable college credits from an institution that has been pioneering understanding and discovery in our field for decades. These credits can help a student on their way to a degree, and this new partnership enables us to deliver on our mission of helping every child reach their full potential by measuring and improving the interactions that matter most,” added Teachstone’s Hamre.
KinderCare Education, the nation’s largest private provider of early childhood education and care, is among the providers that use the CDA with CLASS program to train its teachers. To date, 4,000 KinderCare educators have completed the CDA with CLASS program. Teachstone provides professional development to KinderCare teachers, delivering online courses and training modules to meet the specific needs of educators in a variety of child care and education settings across the country.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to support our talented teachers so they’re able to continue to do what they do best: create wonderful learning environments for children, “said Tracy Kofski, Vice President of Human Resources for KinderCare Education. “We’re committed to supporting our teachers through a variety of professional development opportunities. Teachstone’s program allows us to do that by providing our teachers with courses that allow teachers to learn when and where they are able to.”
Teachstone was founded in 2008 to deliver the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® nationwide and around the globe. Developed through years of research, the CLASS® observation tool measures interactions between teachers and children, which have been shown to drive learning and lifelong achievement. CLASS, adopted as part of the federal Head Start monitoring protocol in 2010, is used to assess the effectiveness of teacher-student interactions. Teachstone's CLASS tool is making a difference in classrooms in 50 countries worldwide.
About University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies
The University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) helps working adults finish their degrees and advance their careers. SCPS offers a variety of online and in-person programs including bachelor’s degree completion programs, professional certificates, a post baccalaureate pre-medical program, a master’s in public safety, and other career accelerators. There are many paths to a great education and SCPS brings high-quality, accessible, and affordable education to all Virginians
We are ecstatic to announce that Teachstone is now a Certified B Corporation! This certification legally requires us to consider the impact of our decisions on our clients, employees, the communities we work in, and the environment. With this new business model informing our work, we are excited to continue to support ECE programs and leaders to ensure every child experiences life changing teaching and teachers are equipped with the tools to best deliver on that goal.
As a CDA with CLASS facilitator, I now recognize that CLASS also helps us think about how we can be present and responsive in supporting the curiosity, engagement, and persistence of adult learners.
I am blessed to be able to support CDA learners, many of whom are returning to formal education for the first time in many years. Some of these learners come from previous educational experiences that were not supportive, that left them feeling that they weren’t good at school or weren’t competent students. But with the right support, these learners can grow their persistence as well as their sense of competence and confidence.
On Wednesday, September 23, the Office of Head Start (OHS) announced that it will be suspending CLASS reviews for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. We sincerely hope this news relieves some of the stress our Head Start partners have felt as they grapple with new challenges related to pandemic conditions.
It is also our hope that programs will use this time to provide specific CLASS support to staff in order to strengthen interactions, regardless of the delivery model in which they are serving children.