The Early Childhood Education program at the Mount Joy campus of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC) was recently designated as a CDA Gold StandardSM program following a quality review of its training and student services by the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council). The CDA Gold StandardSM award validates and acknowledges that an institution provides high quality programming, training, and student support in early childhood education (ECE). The award demonstrates that an education program has in place the high-quality training and student services that ECE students need in order to prepare to earn the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential.
“I always thought that we had developed a high-quality ECE program. I wanted to pursue an equally high-quality, rigorous, and comprehensive program designation that would reflect that,” said Wendy Bertoli, LCCTC Early Childhood Education Instructor said.
Holly Fahnestock, a senior with Ephrata School District, said that she had always wanted to work with kids with special needs and that she was drawn to the Early Childhood Education Program at the LCCTC early in her high school career. “I knew that I wanted to be in the ECE program and I took steps and set goals since freshman year to position myself so that I could take this class,” she said. “I think that it’s great that the program has been recognized for its quality! It’s a lot of hard work, so it takes determination but you get to learn about something that you’re passionate about every day.” Fahnestock said.
Helen Teese, a senior with Manheim Township School District, agreed with her classmate. “I love how much the instructors care about your education in this program. My main goal is to be an elementary school teacher and this program offered a great opportunity to learn about the development of children from infancy.”
CDA Gold StandardSM programs must include sound business policies and practices and quality student services that meet their educational and professional needs. All ECE programs that earn the CDA Gold StandardSM designation align with the formal education coursework found in the CDA’s Eight Subject Areas include:
- Planning a safe and healthy learning environment
- Advancing children’s physical and intellectual development
- Supporting children’s social and emotional development
- Building productive relationships with families
- Managing an effective program operation
- Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
- Observing and recording children’s behavior
- Understanding principles of child development and learning