CDA Spotlight – Dayna Hamel

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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!

Dayna Hamel

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and something you’d like people to know about you. 

I grew up on a ranch in North Central Nebraska, and look forward to the day I can provide that for my family. It was the best way to grow up, and I want that for my children as well.

How long have you been working in the child care industry and how did you begin your journey as a provider?

I grew up babysitting my cousins and have always loved working with kids. Once I had my son, I became aware of the urgent need for child care in my area and decided to pursue opening my own facility in 2019. I officially opened Muddy Creek Daycare in 2020. It’s been a journey but one I am glad I pursued.

Describe your experience completing your CDA – what made you want to obtain it? Were you impacted by the pandemic? If so,

I enjoy learning and working towards a goal. Learning about the CDA from other providers lit a fire under me to begin the journey to obtaining that credential.

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? 

It is rewarding to watch kids learn and grow. It is also a stressful job because of the long hours and workload. I hope that each child and their family knows how absolutely grateful I am for them and the trust they place in me to care for them.

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 would wish for a pool of licensing-approved people to come in when we need a day off for ourselves or our families so that we wouldn’t have to disrupt the care provided to our child care families. I think that would be a huge help in preventing burnout within the child care workforce.

What do you wish other people knew about child care/education in our community?

I wish they knew what our regulations were and how many different hats we wear on a daily basis.

Anything else you’d like to share about child care, education, or NECC?

Having an awesome resource such as NECC is a huge help for those in child care. If you’re considering entering the field, reach out to NECC or a local provider to learn more.