Many of our staff first became a part of the RCMA family as children, and now they are serving the family that served them. Helping other children and families leverage their strengths and reach their goals has become their life’s work. The programs we offer for staff help provide the framework for making the transition from alumni to a passionate staff member.

We provide support for those who want to serve our families as part of our staff by offering two different programs for educators – one that provides the credentials to be Child Development Associate, and another that provides scholarship assistance to achieve an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

 Our Staff Programs

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential by the Council for Professional Recognition, a national association that supports professional development in early education and care.Child Development Associates (CDAs) are trained to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. A CDA performs according to the CDA Competency Goals in center-based, home visitor or family child care programs.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

CDAs have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDAs know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

Earning the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ has many advantages, including exposure to the larger community of early childhood educators. Over 370,000 educators have received their CDA to date!

Becoming a CDA is a big commitment, but one that creates confident practitioners with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children.

Benefits of The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™

  • Advance your career
  • Meet job requirements
  • Reinforce your commitment to early childhood education
  • Provide parents with peace of mind
  • Understand developmentally appropriate practice
  • Increase your confidence

The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Scholarship Program funded by the Florida Office of Early Learning provides scholarships for early care educators to work towards earning an Associate and/or Bachelor degree or credentials in early childhood education.

Major Features Are:

  • A three-way partnership for the sharing of expenses by the caregiver receiving the scholarship, the sponsoring child care center or family child care home, and T.E.A.C.H.
  • Most tuition and books are covered
  • A per-semester stipend provided for travel or for internet access
  • A bonus for caregivers and directors who complete their scholarship contract

T.E.A.C.H. Successes:

  • The T.E.A.C.H. program works with over 60 colleges, universities, vocational technical schools, and community-based training institutions throughout the state.
  • Since 1998, more than 37,000 scholarships have been awarded.
  • The turnover rate for these T.E.A.C.H. program participants is less than 6 percent – a testament to the success of this program.

To help you think about and choose a college, view our The Early Childhood Education DirectoryThe Directory provides information on the colleges and universities offering courses leading to credentials and degrees in early childhood. Please note: T.E.A.C.H. may not offer scholarships for every credential or every degree at a specific college.

For more information, please call 877-FL-TEACH.