Child Development Associate Profile - Mary Leon

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. 

Mary Leon is a graduate of the program and is currently employed at Opportunity House’s Second Street Learning Center. She shared more insight into her experience with the program and how it has helped her in her current role.

Why did you decide to participate in the CDA program through Ready.Set.READ!/United Way?

I decided to participate in the CDA program because I wanted to go back to school to work on my Associate’s Degree but never thought I could do it. When my supervisor at the time explained the CDA program to me, I thought about it and told her that I would do it because it would help me get motivated and stop doubting myself. I am glad I did.

How has the training helped you in your current role?

The training has helped me be a better teacher for my students in my current role.

What has been your favorite memory from participating in the program?

One of my favorite memories of participating in the program was receiving my certificate in the mail and which meant I was able to accomplish one of my goals.

Has there been an obstacle you have overcome due to your involvement in this program?

As a parent I believe there are many obstacles we may face, but one of the obstacles I have overcome is doing homework and caring for my children at the same time while their father was working.

How has the program inspired any future/continued learning or education plans?

Being a part of this program inspired me to keep going and work on my Associate’s Degree in teaching grades K-4th.