[ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Prime Time Early Learning Centers recently implemented a new and improved plan to have more of our teachers certified as Child Development Associates. The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) is a nationally recognized credential in the field of Early Childhood Education issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. The CDA is designed for those individuals who are working with young children in all settings who have not completed a college degree in early childhood education.[/ezcol_2third_end]
The CDA program prepares a child care provider to meet the specific needs of young children and to work with parents and other child care professionals to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework.The CDA is a mark of an educator’s professional knowledge and competency that assures parents, administrators and regulators that the provider is a child care professional. Additionally, the CDA credential is recognized by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and the New York Office of Children and Family Services as a qualifying educational background to be a lead teacher in a pre-school classroom. Unlike a college degree which only needs to be obtained once in a lifetime, the CDA program requires the care provider to periodically renew their CDA credential by attending continuing professional development training and education.
Prime Time has long recognized the early learning and child care value of the CDA credential to the families and children we serve. Accordingly, we offer an annual pay bonus for our teachers with a CDA credential, and we reimburse our teachers the cost of their CDA program, books and testing once they completed their CDA credential. We recently became aware that some of our staff desired to complete their CDA training and credential, but were deterred by the up-front costs required to register for their course and to purchase books. In 2016 Prime Time further improved our staff CDA credential incentive program by offering to pre-pay up to $500 of the CDA training and credential costs for our employees. In the first month since implementing this new program, five of our child care providers have registered to pursue their CDA credential. Prime Time is proud to find new ways to encourage and sponsor the professional development of our staff in this manner, which allows us to better compensate these highly trained employees, and to provide a higher quality early childhood education to the children we serve.