The Child Development Associate (CDA) Program, a part of Ready.Set.READ! Growing Readers, is a 3-year program designed to enhance early childhood education and curriculum support; focus on kindergarten readiness and reduce turnover of the trained workers. The CDA program gives child care teachers at targeted centers an opportunity to earn their credentials through classes at Reading Area Community College. The program includes a monitoring component to measure curriculum use in the participating centers.
Jordan Valentine is a graduate of the program and is currently employed at the Reading YMCA Child Care Center. He shared more insight into his experience with the program and how it has helped in his current role.
Why did you decide to participate in the CDA program through Ready.Set.READ!/United Way?
I wanted to participate in the program because it gave me more knowledge about what I love to do: work with kids. I’ve been working with kids since 2006 and I have a passion for it, however I know there were things back when I did the program that I didn’t know.
How has the training helped you in your current role?
The trainings I had in the program still help me to this day. For instance, I’m not a huge art person, however with the preschool age, simple is key. They just want to create something and a lot of the things I made in the program, I make to this day with my kids and use in our curriculum.
What has been your favorite memory from participating in the program?
My favorite part of the program was just going to the classes and the discussions. I like to be asked open-ended questions and my opinion on things.
Has there been an obstacle you have overcome due to your involvement in this program?
At first, I thought my obstacle would be having the time to do so, but once I actually sat down and thought about it, I realized it would be an amazing experience and it was. I don’t regret doing it ONE BIT.