Bill aimed to ease recruiting for child care workers

CHARLOTTE — Recruiting qualified child care workers will soon get a little easier in North Carolina.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill into law that recognizes credentials for childcare development associates (CDA).

The Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education will develop and implement criteria that incorporate the CDA credential for birth through three years of age, in accordance with the Child Cre Flexibility bill.

The CDA credential for three to five years of age will count toward the requirements for the childcare star rating system.

The Child Care Flexibility Act will be in effect on Oct. 1. The criteria must be in place by March 31, 2024.

Eleanor Toliver runs the First Ward Child Development Center.

“It’s difficult for us,” said Toliver, the director at the child development center. “We have waiting lists. People waiting on us. We can’t accommodate because we don’t have staff.”

Toliver said the new law recognizes the CDA, which will help bring in more qualified workers to care for young children.

“When someone comes in with a CDA, it allows us to hire them at an elite-teacher level, which gives them a bit higher pay and a bit more prestige,” Toliver said.

Rodajha Holland went for a CDA, which includes formal early-childhood education training, real-world experience, and an in-depth interview with a CDA specialist.

“They look at your classroom,” Holland said. “They watch you teach -- watch everything you do on a daily basis.”

Holland is also going for her associate’s degree in child care education.

The CDA provides people with another pathway other than degree programs

“With the passage of this legislation, which formally recognizes the CDA as an educational credential within North Carolina’s star-rated licensing system, the Child Care Commission, which serves as the rule-making body for the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education will now begin to consider the specifics of how these two credentials will be recognized (i.e. how many points will be awarded) for staff members with CDAs within the education component of a child care program star rating,” said Janet Singerman, the president & CEO of Child Care Resources Inc.

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Evan Donovan

Evan Donovan, wsoctv.com

Evan is an anchor and reporter for Channel 9.