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INDIANAPOLIS–Children are the future, which is why the Council for Professional Recognition is stressing the importance of professionals getting the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA).

“The research is very strong and very clear. For over 50 years, children who have had a high-quality early childhood education are doing better in school and they tend to do better in their employment,” says Valora Washington, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Professional Recognition.

Washington says Indiana is investing a great deal in helping early childhood educators get the knowledge they need to support child development. The credential is given to professionals who work in early education settings like Head Start, Pre-K, and childcare.

“I’m really proud to say the CDA credential is very popular in Indiana. It’s offered in most of the community colleges,” says Washington.

For example, Washington credited the entire Ivy Tech system for doing that.

“So Indiana is really making a very deep and sustained commitment to being sure that the adults who are working with young children really are prepared to do so in a way that’s going to be the best quality for the children. There are some huge scholarship funds in Indiana called the Teach Program that really help support teachers to earn this credential. Also, employers in Indiana often pay for their staff to earn the credential as well,” says Washington.

The Council will have a conference in Indianapolis later this year as part of their 45th Anniversary Tour.

“We’re going to help people better understand how important it is for the people that work with our youngest children to be highly trained and skilled. We’re also going to point out for people how the workforce that’s working with these children in these important early years are woefully under-compensated for the skills, knowledge, and credentials that they have,” says Washington.

The conference is scheduled for May 7-9, 2020.

The CDA is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education.

“It’s competency-based. It really provides a national understanding of what the standard should be when we’re working with young children. That’s why we think it’s sustained its popularity and value for these 45 years,” says Washington.