As a lifelong educator I always knew that I wanted to further my education, but at the time, I was a single mom and a full time worker. This meant I didn’t have much time to squeeze school into my schedule. My Director at the time notified me that we were a part of United 4 Children’s Programs Achieving Quality program (PAQ). Due to my prior dedication with the Special School District, Early Childhood Center and North County Technical High I knew the importance of completing this program. The program was a great mixture of hands on [experience] and supportive community resources that helped me to obtain my Child Development Associate (CDA) [credential]. The community of early childhood educators and elementary school educators is growing tremendously because of United 4 Children’s support within the community.
I remember in the start of our class a United 4 Children instructor provided us with a list of about 75 different job titles in which we were told that we’ll all qualify at the completion of the class. I looked over the paper in shock, because I thought some of the titles required college courses. Three years down the line, I’ve had the pleasure of accomplishing a few of the titles thanks to the completion of my CDA with United 4 Children.
My journey after the completion of my CDA has been beautiful. I have been able to lead side by side with an educator with 20 years of experience who’s in a private Infant -Toddlers group home environment which has been a great eye opener for me and other colleagues to explore the updated standards of Department of Health and Senior Services. ………. I also had the opportunity to serve in a large accredited cooperation of early head start ranging from 6 weeks to 6 years old. This is where I was able to use all the fun hands on lesson plans [I learned through PAQ]…. such as family style dining and improving children’s gross motor skills through science and mathematics. ………..I’m grateful to say that my CDA journey is not over yet. Remember the job titles list from earlier? My current Job is a Liaison Coordinator at a K-8 Private School, so yes; I’m still marking off titles that I didn’t know existed until I started with the PAQ program. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to further my education with United 4 Children. The sky is unlimited with United 4 Children.
-India Parker Houston
Edited by United 4 Children
Learn more about the Programs Achieving Quality (PAQ) Program here.