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Local adults earn new CDA child care certificates at Penn State Fayette

7/1/2009 —

Eleven local women and one man make an even dozen who completed the first comprehensive Child Development Associate (CDA) credential class offered at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.

The CDA credential is a national certification program designed for individuals who work in child care with infants and toddlers or preschoolers in group settings, family care or home visiting situations. Program participants must complete 120 hours of formal child care education, covering such topics as child development and child behavior, how to manage a child care program, and legal issues. In addition to their formal education, they must complete a portfolio, write an autobiography, address various competency goals, investigate parent perceptions through parent questionnaires, have formal observation, and take a test and submit to a formal interview. The educational portion of the process took place at the Fayette campus beginning in late January and ending mid June.

Deborah Dennick-Ream, the program instructor, says, “The reality of the situation is that parents have to work, but between birth and five years of age is the prime learning time for children. The more child care instructors know, the better able they are to nurture young children and help them to grow.”

Inspired by the certification program, some of the CDA students plan to continue their education by earning formal degrees in human development and family studies at the Fayette campus. The CDA certificate program is planned to be offered again for a new group of students in the fall. Call 724-430-4211 for more information.

CDA Certification
CDA certification instructor Deborah Dennick-Ream (standing) talks to some of the local students completing the CDA program in June. From left: Cindy Klink of Uniontown, Joyce Nascimben of McClellantown, Jamie Kelley of Uniontown, Betty Darnell of Mt. Braddock, Misty DiMatteo of Uniontown, and Cynthia Landman of Smithfield.
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