Posted on 2/2/14

Henderson County High School 300HENDERSON, Ky. (6/27/13) – Two recent graduates of Henderson County High School, Samantha Smith and Elizabeth Austin, were awarded the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in recognition of outstanding work with young children. The Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C. awards credentials to early childhood educators who demonstrate the ability to constructively work with young children in group settings.
“It takes special knowledge, skills, and expertise to be an effective teacher of young children,” says Valora Washington, CEO of the Council. “It is a great honor to earn a CDA, and it shows a commitment to quality early childhood education.”
The CDA is a nationally recognized credential for excellence in early childhood education. Each CDA candidate is observed while working with young children and is assessed on his/her ability to develop the physical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of young children.
Smith said working with children is something she has enjoyed doing most of her life.
“Growing up I have helped care for my siblings and also my nieces and nephews. I have always had a passion to work with children,” Smith said. “Receiving my Child Development Associate Credential will enhance the quality and education of child care by defining, evaluating, and recognizing the competence of child care providers and home visitors.”
Austin said getting the credentials wasn’t easy.
“The process of getting my Child Development Associates Credential was very long. I had to obtain 480 hours of experience working directly with children and 120 hours of training on top of getting the required documentation completed,” she said.
In 2010 the CDA Council changed its requirements to allow high school students the opportunity to receive this credential. Not only does this help the student to become career ready, it also articulates nine (9) college credit hours in the field of early childhood.

The CDA community nationwide is having a positive effect on the quality of early childhood education by helping preschools, day care centers, and family child care programs hire qualified and competent professionals who ensure the best care for our nation’s youngest..

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