The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized in early childhood education; the CDA presents child care providers with opportunities in career advancement, in-service hours, and new job opportunities. In this series, we’re highlighting providers who have taken the step to further the quality of their care by completing their CDA! Get to know them below!
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and something you’d like people to know about you.
I started out as a babysitter and I have evolved into a child care provider/educator. A job that once was looked down upon, and people would say, “Oh, you just sit home and play?” is now my career and passion. Now I have the education and confidence to explain the before and after. Thanks to NECC, and other organizations, I am in a professional career I love.
How long have you been working in the child care industry and how did you begin your journey as a provider?
I have worked with children since I was 10, in Sunday school and the nursery at church. I babysat and did child care for a few children off and on for years. In June of 2010, I finally decided to open a full-time in-home child care. I decided I wasn’t spending enough time with my children, and if I worked from home, I would get to be the mom I wanted to be.
Describe your experience completing your CDA – what made you want to obtain it? Were you impacted by the pandemic? If so,
I had looked into getting my CDA because of the tax credit that was being offered, and my instructor at the time told me I should look into getting my CDA. I figured with her help, I just might be able to do it. NECC offered a business course and I took it. During COVID, everything was being offered online so I was able to attend and not have to get a substitute.
What is it like to be in the child care/education industry? What impact do you wish to make or are you making on the lives of
those in our community, both young and old?
I am a single mother of three older children 25, 19, and 18. I want them to see the importance of education. I want them to know it doesn’t stop when high school is over, and even if you’ve gone to college for something, you can change your mind and start over at any age. I had no idea I would love child care as much as I do. It is so encouraging when a kindergarten teacher tells me how my kids are doing on both a social and emotional level, and an academic level in school. I am the director of the Little Sister Program with the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Organization, mentoring 2nd and 3rd-grade girls to be kind young women. The organization helps young women across Nebraska empower each other and show off their intelligence. The program offers scholarships for young women to further their education. I am the current president of the North Platte Public School District Board of Education. I am very interested in the education of all the children in our community.
If you could change one thing about child care in our community, across our state, or even around the world, what would you
wish to change?
I want in-home providers to be able to have more of a voice and be more of a voice at a state level. I want to have coaches and trainers who have not only been in child care but have been in-home providers. Child care is an amazing career, but in-home child care is a whole other ball game.
What do you wish other people knew about child care/education in our community?
I wish people understood the importance of our jobs in setting the foundation for a child’s education.
Anything else you’d like to share about child care, education, or NECC?
In-home child care providers are an extension of our family’s homes. We welcome these children into our homes and love them like our own. Helping raise kind, responsible humans is the most important job there is. I hope families appreciate who they have and I hope providers see themselves as the amazing educators that they are. I appreciate NECC for seeing us and treating us like professionals.