Several assistant teachers with the PathStone Carbon County Head Start Program has been awarded Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials in recognition of outstanding work with young children. The credentials were awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., which represents the early childhood education profession.

They are Linda Knepper, Karen Snyder, Andrea Zisserman, Annette Becker, Claudia Sarge McDonald, Phyllis Lopez, Patricia Lutz, Mary Eckhart and April Krynock.

CDA is the only major national effort to improve early childhood education and care by evaluation and recognition the skills of individuals providing care. The first credential was awarded over 30 years ago, and now 49 states plus the District of Columbia include CDA in their childcare licensing regulations.

Parents who use early education and care are especially concerned today about their children's welfare. With this in mind, as part of the CDA assessment process, every candidate for the CDA credential is observed working with young children or families by an early childhood professional. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the ability to work with families to develop children's physical and intellectual capabilities in a safe and healthy learning environment.

The CDA credential is having a positive effect on the quality of early childhood education and care. Its impact is evident in center-based and home visitor programs as well as family child care, the most common form of care for children under five years old.

Child care staff and parents wanting information on CDA should write to the Council for Professional Recognition at 2460 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3547, or call the Council at (202) 265-9090 or (800) 424-4310.