NAF Atsugi CDC certifies safety for children
Members of the Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Child Development Center (CDC) recently completed the Child Developmental Associate Credential (CDA), a nationally recognized certification, for helping both children and parents.
The accreditation process can take up to two years, but many of the employees at the CDC were able to complete it in less than one.
“It has helped me to remember and use our 13 modules for teaching,” said Child Youth Program Assistant Christi Bueno. “It’s so important that we’re here to help kids develop and grow and help lead their parents to the tools and resources they’re going to need to be the best they can.”
The CDA, requires that participants create a binder of various resources and parenting tools that they can then use to help parents as well as being able to use those tools and skills in the classrooms.
According to the Council for Professional Recognition, a group working to evaluate and standardize childcare accreditation programs, The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.
CDAs have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDAs know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.
“I have so enjoyed working with these kids,” said Party Preschool Lead Hazel Helen. “This is my passion, I started working at NSF [Naval Support Facility] Kamiseya back in 2004, and I’ve never looked back. Getting to complete this certification has only helped me to be a better and stronger worker here at the CDC.”
The process, though only taking many of the employees a year, is extremely time intensive, requiring many of them to work late nights and weekends to complete their assignments, added Program Assistant Terrence Nicholson. “I’ve wanted to do this course since I got here in 2006,” said Nicholson. “We had to wait to get an instructor who was able to get to [NAF] Atsugi. It was crazy to see just how many of the staff here wanted to sign up for the class.”
When the course was initially made available to the CDC staff, they had nine participants ranging from employees with one to ten years’ experience.
“In 2012 many of us had it done, I was actually still working on it,” said Child Youth Program Assistant Kourtni Billena. “But in 2013 they revamped the program and it took almost a year to redo many of the most basic qualifications; and I’m glad we did, because I was able to relearn so much that’s helped me to be so much better at this job.”
“At the end of the day, we’ve all been doing this for a long time, but we need the kids and parents alike to trust us to be successful,” said Helen. “Getting to do this job and having the opportunity to work with so many kids is the best gift I could have ever received and having the chance to help them succeed fills me with such a sense of joy.”