Investing in our Teachers Future – CDA Program!

One of our Core Values at The Learning Tree is “Investing in our Teacher’s Future.” We have a full career ladder program to promote growth in many ways but one of our favorite areas on our career ladder is investing in education. Not only does this set us apart as your family’s childcare providers because we are able to have more education in our centers, it sets us apart as an employer.

We have partnered with the Childcare Education Institute’s CDA (Child Development Associate) Program. The first CDA credential was awarded in 1975 and became the sole nationally recognized ECE credential, accepted in all 50 states and U.S. Territories.

As of November 2021, we took our education program a step further. With support from grants available, we created a new leadership position – Director of Teacher Development. This position allowed us to revamp and enroll several teachers in our CDA program through CCEI to earn their education. The Directors partner and coach teachers along the way, complete in person observations, frequent check-ins and on the spot training, while making sure the program’s education is being completed. We have noticed the process working smoothly, and teachers implementing their education as they learn! It has created a whole new level of support for our teachers. Our Directors of Teacher Development/ CDA Coaches have not only been Lead Teachers in our classroom and have training in coaching, so they know firsthand the type of support and coaching that work best!

The Learning Tree covers 85% of the cost of this program so that amazing assistant teachers can earn their credentials to be a Lead Teacher. This shows the teachers how much we believe in them, their future and that we are passionate about giving our time, resources and supporting their education financially. But we don’t stop at just teachers looking to be leads! We also have teachers in the assistant position who are dedicated to your child’s growth as well as their own and want to support their classroom with the CDA who are currently enrolled!

Here is some more information about the CDA through CCEI:

The Comprehensive CDA Gold StandardSM was awarded to ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) following a quality review of their training and student services by the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council). The CDA Gold Standard is part of the Council’s early childhood education effort to help CDA course students find the high-quality training and student services they need in preparation for the CDA exam and a career as early childhood educators.

As a participant in the CDA Gold StandardSM pilot, ChildCare Education Institute successfully demonstrated that its early childhood education training is based on the Council’s three industry-leading principles:

· Alignment with the Child Development Association (CDA) formal early childhood education coursework found in the CDA’s Eight Subject Areas.
· Sound business policies and practices.
· Quality student services that meet their educational and professional needs.

We currently have 3 Director of Teacher Development/ CDA Coaches: Alexis McNett, Heather Deskins and Ashley Joustra on our team. 14 Learning Tree Assistant Teachers have graduated from this CDA program with a CDA Coach. We have a waitlist of Assistant Teachers and are constantly signing up and encouraging education!