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  • The Narrative Project

Elm City Communities and NH ChILD Host Graduation for Child Development Associate (CDA) Course


December 16, 2021

CONTACT Edwin Stubbs 973.223.0525

New Haven, CT - A dozen childcare workers got one step closer to heading their own programs Monday after graduating from a newly created Child Development Associate class. The program, organized by Elm City Communities/The Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH) and NH CHiLD, prepares students to apply for their CDA credentials. In Connecticut, having a preschool or infant/toddler center-based CDA qualifies you to work as a headteacher in a child daycare center. “We’re so proud to be here to celebrate your accomplishment of becoming one step closer to receiving your Child Development Associate certification. We know that going to class twice a week in the evening after working for several months while still being there for your children and families, all during a pandemic, could not have been easy,” said Karen DuBois-Walton, President of Elm City Communities, who provided over a graduation ceremony held Monday, Dec. 14 for the students. “For too long, there has been a lack of equity for women of color who have years of early childhood experience but are unable to receive the assistance and opportunity needed to get the credential that would allow them to have an official career in this field.” Many of New Haven’s early childhood education support staff are women of color living at or near the poverty level and have years of experience in the field but lack an early childhood credential that puts them on a stable career ladder. This program offered participants intensive and culturally responsive learning opportunities in community programs designed to support their unique needs. “As part of NH Child’s commitment to strengthening and supporting the early childhood educator workforce, we focus on helping our community receive the training and early childhood education credentials they need in order to break into the field, or take the next steps in their career,” said Dr. Wendy Waithe Simmons, Executive Director New Haven ChILD “We’re so excited to see this incredible first group of graduates, who are taking a massive leap forward on the path to becoming certified educators. Graduates, best of luck on your upcoming national CDA exams.” This program was organized in partnership with the Trust for Learning, NH ChILD, Gateway Community College, Integrated Wellness Group, Friends Center for Children, Calvin Hill, and Elm City Montessori. NH ChILD assisted ECC residents, and other participants, throughout the course by paying for school books, school materials, and the CDA application fee. ECC/HANH President Karen Debois-Walton was on site to give a speech and assist in distributing certificates to the course graduates. To learn more about ECC/HANH, visit Photos are available here.

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Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH) Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH) is the public housing agency serving the City of New Haven. We serve over 6,100 families and over 14,000 individuals through our public housing, housing choice voucher and low-income housing tax credit programs. Through our affordable housing programs, residents pay no more than 30% of their income toward their housing expenses. Families are supported in reaching their life goals through a full array of supportive services that lead to increased income, entrepreneurism, education attainment, homeownership and more. Elm City Communities is committed to expanding access to affordable housing services and to ensuring that these services are available in every community.

NH ChiLD NH ChILD is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the early landscape in New Haven with the goal of providing quality care and education to all children aged birth to 8. Our work is focused on expanding access to early care and improving the quality of care provided with a particular focus on our poor and marginalized communities – most especially our black and brown children and their families. We do this work collectively as we build on the strength of the existing early childhood community in New Haven, including dedicated leadership from the New Haven Early Childhood Council, the City of New Haven, and New Haven Public Schools among others.

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