Since when did a National CDA triumph an actual college degree? (rant)

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Missus James, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2013

    Well, I am back to job searching again. My last job turned out to be a disaster. So I've been job hunting for over a month now. However, at job interviews, all potential employers tell me to my face that they won't hire me because I don't have a National CDA.

    I have an associate's degree in early childhood education, I am almost finished with my bachelor's degree in early childhood education, I have a director's credential, a staff credential, and I have completed all of my DCF hours (I live in Florida, btw). Everyone looks at my experience and go 'ooo' and 'ahh', but they don't touch me because I don't have a National CDA. I know I am probably overqualified, but they say, "No, you're not overqualified. You just don't have a CDA."

    I've tried getting a CDA, but it costs a lot of money. Who can cough up nearly 500 dollars (that doesn't even include the textbook you have to buy) and I am still a college student with tuition and other textbooks to purchase! Plus you have to be employed! On top of that, it's a long tedious process because there is paperwork and observations and you have to contact your previous employers for documentation of working over 400 hours in child care. So I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because of this CDA business?

    I've already spent tens of thousands of dollars to get through college. Isn't that enough? I mean I guess I would understand if I got a degree in a completely different field and I am trying to get into the child care field. However, I have been in child care for nearly six years now and I have degrees in early childhood! So I know what I am doing!

    Where I live, teachers only get CDAs because it's easier and cheaper than getting an actual degree. Many potential employers have mentioned this to my face. If you have a CDA then you can do everything someone with a degree can do in the child care field. However, I have the degrees ... so why do I need the CDA? Isn't a degree good enough anymore?

    Honestly, sometimes I wished I didn't get a degree in anything and just got a CDA instead. I mean I don't want to be child care for the rest of my life. I want to be an elementary school teacher. However, that won't happen for another year and a half or so. What am I suppose to do then?
     
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  3. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Apr 30, 2013

    Oh my

    As far as i know, having an associates in Early Childhood is a higher educational degree than a CDA. When I finished my Masters in Early Childhood, I interviewed at a few daycares that would say "but do you have a CDA?" Honestly, I think sometimes child care centers are very focused on that and don't always realize that a college degree provides the same, often times extensively more, training and education. I don't think you need to pay for a CDA. Perhaps in your teaching portfolio, include lesson plans and samples, and a list of the courses related to early childhood that you have taken.

    Good luck!
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 30, 2013

    Strange.

    Everyone at my previous place of employment (a public school system) had to get their CDA or lose their positions. I was exempt, however, because I was in college for a degree in education.

    It doesn't seem quite right! If you had no experience but a degree, I could better understand. But you have both. :(
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 1, 2013

    A degree should be higher than a CDA. I taught CDA classes for Head Start. After the teachers got their CDA, they were encouraged to get their AA, then a BS. Many day care people need to read and study the regulations. Don't worry, with a BS, you can be the boss.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 1, 2013

    I question whether the CDA panel would accept your application for a certificate because you have an AA. Why not call them and talk to them about this issue? I have talked with them, and they are very helpful.
     
  7. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

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    May 1, 2013

    Thank you so much for your replies! It is a frustrating process. The reason why I am so frustrated because there is a child organization that is one of the oldest and most respected in my region. Their reputation is spotless and they pay their teachers mad money. I had everything they needed, however, the HR person said that she couldn't hire me because I didn't have CDA. I said, "But I have an associate's degree in Early Childhood Education and I am almost finished with my bachelor's degree." She says, "We know that, but we can't hire you to teach a lead teacher position because you don't have a CDA."

    I was absolutely devastated because the interview went soooo well. She told me to contact her back when I got my CDA or if I got a CDA exemption. I mean this wasn't the first time this has happened to me in my job search, but I really, really wanted to work with them.

    You can get a CDA free, but you have to apply for scholarships here to get it. And scholarships are kind of limited where I live. Otherwise, you have to pay like 395 (in-class) or 425 (online). Both costs are excluding textbooks and nonrefundable fees.

    @Preschool0929, I just don't get that! Why are they so focused on that? College coursework isn't sometimes more intensive, it is more! I don't look down at people who have CDAs, I am just trying to figure out why do I need one when I actually have a degree. Thank you! :)

    @StrangeMe, was it a public system-based preschool? If so, that is really cool! I mean we have then around here, but no one needs to have a CDA. The only person who needs to have a degree is the lead teacher. She can't have an associate's degree either. She has to have a bachelor's degree with a teaching certificate. Was your previous place of employment the same way?

    @Blue, we have Head Start locations in my areas too. As a matter of fact, the child organization I wanted to work for has lots of Head Start locations. My aunt used to work at Early Head Start as apart of a different organization. Not as a teacher though. She told me that it is easy getting a CDA at Head Start because they send someone in to do the paperwork and you get one observation then you get approved. I guess they skipped a lot of steps to make sure that everyone gets a CDA.

    However, I wonder if you are right. Maybe I can put in my application for a certification because I have an associate's degree. But do I still need to do the observation? I am unemployed, so I can't do an observation anywhere. Do you think they would still take me?
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 1, 2013

    I had a similar frustration when I was in Florida and looking for early childhood jobs. In Louisiana, no one seems to care. I have my AA in early childhood, but many centers in Florida wanted me to have a CDA in addition. In theory, the degrees should be equivalent. It was very frustrating!
     
  9. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

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    I just contacted the CDA Council. They have a very nasty attitude. I asked them a simple question and the person who answered the call was very rude to me. I asked her if I could bypass the process because I have my associate's degree, she said, "It doesn't matter if you have a doctorate's degree. You're not special, so you have to do the process like everyone else."

    It was just a simple question. She said I could volunteer at a center to get my observation hours in lieu of being employed, but that's it.

    This is so ridiculous. I feel like I am at my wit's end with this. It feels like I am backed into a corner no matter what I try to do. I still have to pay for the application fee on top of that too.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 2, 2013

    Okay, my first suggestion did not work. I am angry about your degree not being recognized!!! My next suggestion if for you to ask a professor at your college to contact the day care and ask what the heck is going on!!
     
  11. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    May 2, 2013

    Get your Florida CDA (fccpc formally CDAE), you pay for the classes but the CDA is only $10. You get all of the coursework done, plus the national CDA books. Once you get that you can work in Florida as if you had the national CDA and when you can afford it you can just get observed and pay the $300. Personally, I have just the Florida CDA because I couldn't afford the national either and I have worked in the field for 8 years and never had a problem. I've also never heard of anyone not hiring you because you don't have a CDA. In my area you would be praised for having a higher degree. Check this for programs in your area http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/child-care/birth-5fccpc

    the you must have a CDA policy is not smart because any school that is naeyc accredited will require all leads to have a BA degree by 2014. Look into teach Florida scholarship. Also, have you worked 480 hours in the preschool field? As long as it has been in the last 5 years, it counts!

    Sorry your other job didn't work out :(
     
  12. Missus James

    Missus James Rookie

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    May 9, 2013

    Thanks, ladies! I will definitely do that, but now I have a new dilemma.
     
  13. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 18, 2013

    If you went to work for Head Start they would cover the cost of your CDA. You would also get A LOT of supervision and guidance, many one-on-one consultations with the Education director, etc. You would be earning money while getting the required hours.

    My experience was that the Ed. director at Head Start consulted with our University ed. counselor. They went through my course work I had completed for my BS and they determined I had more than met the ECE requirements to be hired as lead teacher. I was offered the opportunity to get my CDA on top of that through Head Start, but declined for the time being.

    The definite trend is for preschool teachers to have a college degree, and the requirement for this is coming up fast. You are in an awkward position because you are smack in the middle of the shift to college degrees. By the time you graduate, you will be in a great position.

    ARe you looking to be lead teacher while going to college?
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 18, 2013

    I also have to add that although I had the course work, the BS, the experience and training for ECE, my co-workers with their CDAs or AA degrees taught the new girl an awful lot in terms of practical application of my course work.
     
  15. choirlady76

    choirlady76 Rookie

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    May 19, 2013

    I graduated last May with my AS in Early Childhood Educ. and had no struggles obtaining employment. I'm now continuing towards my BS in child studies. My director wants all of her teachers to have at least the associates or requires them to be working towards that goal within two years if employment or they lose their job. Whilst in college, I was informed that the CDA is slowly being weeded out and the associates is becoming the least credential that is accepted. However, this could vary by state. I live in Missouri.

    Personally, the AS/AA is higher than the CDA and if you've already done observation hours/student teaching, see if it's possible to get the CDA without extra work. For my AS the first two practicing, we did all the requirements for a CDA, so you most likely have already met the requirements.

    Good luck with everything!
     
  16. Miss~Blue

    Miss~Blue Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2013

    ._.; Sorry for bumping this, but I can relate... This CDA business is making me rage lately. I have a bachelor of science in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Children and all of my credits are upper-level education courses like Teaching Art, Teaching Reading, Children's Lit, Teaching Language arts, etc. I even had an internship in an Early Intervention Preschool and have over 2 years of experience as a teacher assistant plus volunteer work with children and young adults.

    And it isn't like I am shooting high or anything. I know I don't have teacher certs. I just want to be an assistant, but all of the childcare places seem to say "CDA or hit the road." Even a Special Education Preschool said the same thing to me, "Your experience is nice and all, but you don't have a CDA." O_O; Are you serious?
     

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