Three Laurel Oaks Career Campus students are the first in the region to earn the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Sydnie Laymon of Washington C.H. was the first to earn this nationally-recognized certification, followed by Hailey Appleman of Wilmington and Destanie McDaniel of Hillsboro.
The CDA is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. Earning the CDA requires nearly 500 hours of work experience in a preschool, the completion of a detailed portfolio of educational work, observation by a CDA specialist, and passage of a rigorous exam.
All three students plan to continue their education. Laymon plans to be a child psychologist, while Appleman and McDaniel plan to earn their bachelor’s degrees in education with the goal of teaching.
“Earning the CDA is a significant accomplishment for anyone in the field, and for these students to do it while in high school is a great achievement,” said Laurel Oaks ECE instructor Mary Ann Horne.
The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children, according to the Council for Professional Recognition, which issues the certification. The CDA is a nationally-transferable credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.
Earning the credential has many advantages, including exposure to the larger community of early childhood educators. Over 370,000 educators have received their CDA to date.
Submitted by Jon Weidlich, community relations director, Great Oaks Career Campuses.