This spring, we shared the stories of three family child care providers who were taking part in All Our Kin’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential class. Today, we are thrilled to recognize all nineteen family child care providers from Bridgeport, Norwalk, and surrounding towns who successfully completed their CDA class this spring.
The CDA is a rigorous, year-long course in the fundamentals of child development that culminates in a nationally-recognized credential and articulates to six college credits in early childhood through Charter Oak State College. Only ten percent of family child care providers statewide possess the CDA credential, and just seven percent of family child care providers in Bridgeport.
Thanks to the generosity of the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, All Our Kin was able to support these nineteen providers in applying for the CDA credential by providing free instruction, CDA books, exam fees, light dinner at every class, and assistance with portfolio completion.
At their graduation ceremony last Monday, providers celebrated their accomplishment with their families and All Our Kin staff members. Speaking to her classmates at the event, Bridgeport provider Millicent Henry expressed the powerful sentiment in the room. “I am so proud to be standing here,” she said. “Because of what All Our Kin decided to give to the day care providers, we are way, way better. We are grateful, we are blessed. Tonight, we are proud providers.”
Over the past year, these providers participated in more than 120 hours of professional education. Two providers had perfect class attendance. The graduates’ commitment to continuing their education is truly extraordinary, especially considering the strenuous hours that are typical for family child care providers. One graduate, Bernanie Jean-Louis, traveled from Stamford to Bridgeport two times a week during rush hour to attend the three-hour long class. “It was never easy,” she said at the ceremony. “But to do well, you have to sacrifice.”
When provider Dionne Lamothe-Wong rose to address the audience, she expressed her gratitude to the CDA class’s instructor, All Our Kin Educational Consultant Maureen Myers, for her tireless work on providers’ behalf. “Thank you to Ms. Maureen, for never missing a class,” said Dionne. “[Maureen’s] gone a lot of miles to bring us where we are today. If I’m upgrading my family day care, it’s because of All Our Kin and especially Maureen and my classmates.”
“It’s been a long road, for our students and for their families, and we appreciate all of the dedication that you’ve shown,” Maureen told the assembled providers. “It’s a very special night for us.” Maureen was able to report to providers that they had demonstrated significant increases in knowledge over the course of the class—of the graduates who took both a pre- and post-test examining their content knowledge, their average score rose by 22 percent from 67 percent to 82 percent. This increased knowledge about child development will support all of our graduates in their work with our community’s youngest and most vulnerable children.
We are thrilled by the progress that our providers have made over this year, and we applaud their tireless dedication to providing high quality early experiences to the children they serve. We hope that you will join us in congratulating them on this significant accomplishment!
All Our Kin’s Bridgeport CDA class was made possible by the generosity of the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls. Click here to read about the journeys of CDA graduates Natasha Auguste-Williams, Patti Clancy, and Dionne Lamothe-Wong.