Three Laurel Oaks Career Campus students are the first in the region to earn the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.
Sydnie Laymon of Washington Court House 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 pre-school, 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 will both earn their bachelor’s degree 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.