The Institute's Executive Director, Sherry Cleary, has been named the new University Dean of Early Childhood Initiatives, effective immediately. Sherry will add this new role to her existing portfolio and continue to focus on early childhood issues within CUNY, throughout the state, and nationally.
Sherry has served for 13 years in the Office of the Senior University Dean as the Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, a unique public/private partnership that harnesses the combined efforts of city and state agencies, private funders, and CUNY to establish a workforce system that insures training, funding, standards, and credentials for individuals who work with young children throughout New York. The Institute also leads the NYC Early Childhood Research Network, which has launched eleven studies focusing on the workforce serving children from birth through 5 years. Sherry co-chairs the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council for the state of New York. She also is a past President of the New York State Association, and has served on the Board of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. In addition, Sherry was named to the six-member Early Childhood Working Group, which built the model to be used for New York City’s Universal Pre-kindergarten implementation.
More recently, Sherry has played a major role in the design and implementation of the Family Empowerment Community College Pilot at CUNY, which provides students with vital on-campus child care and career counseling. She has also taken on the new CUNY Early Childhood Workforce scholarship. Given her expanding work in this area and CUNY’s particular interest in building more robust supports for student parents, Executive Vice Chancellor Jose Luis Cruz has asked Sherry to integrate the excellent work and the dedicated personnel of CUNY’s campus-based childcare programs into her portfolio.
Congratulations Sherry on this well-deserved recognition!
The Council for Professional Recognition’s latest newsletter features the 12-credit bearing Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) offered at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) in partnership with the Institute. The CDA is the most widely recognized national credential in early childhood education and an important stepping-stone on the career pathway for many early childhood educators. The newsletter highlights how the CDA program at CUNY SPS provides assistance and supports to students in completing the credential application process. In addition, the newsletter discusses the Head Start parent cohort an initiative launched by the Institute and ACS that provides parents of children enrolled in ACS early education programs with scholarships to obtain a CDA. This year several parents in the program traveled to New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC) annual conference with their instructor Claudine Campanelli, the Institute’s Director of Career Services and Higher Education, to present posters at the student poster session.
Thank you to the Council for Professional Recognition for featuring our CDA program!
To read the newsletter, click here.
The National Workforce Registry Alliance (the Alliance) is an association comprised of members from throughout the country who oversee early childhood workforce data systems. In NYC, the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute operates the Aspire Registry, New York’s early childhood workforce database under the leadership of Diana Diaz. The Institute is proud to announce that Diana has been elected to the office of President for the Alliance. The Aspire Registry database and statewide training calendar for early childhood and school-age professionals helps teachers, providers, directors, trainers, and anyone who works with children to keep track of important information about their careers, including education and employment history, professional development experiences, and a whole host of demographic data that helps us understand and support career advancement. The Aspire Registry is also used by regulatory agencies to ensure that early childhood educators meet the requirements for qualifications and professional development as set forth in the statute.
Diana has been active in the Alliance and has served on the Board of Directors in the past. She will begin her term as President-Elect in the fall and then will serve a 2-year term as President of the Alliance in a year. In this role, Diana will provide leadership to a Board of Directors that informs and strengthens the early childhood and afterschool workforce through collaboration with state registry systems and national partners. The Institute commends Diana for accepting the responsibility of this profound leadership position.
The Aspire Registry and the Institute’s other initiatives continue to translate proven approaches and research into policy and practice to create a comprehensive system for teachers, directors, administrators, policy leaders, funders, and other individuals who want to create an exemplary and well-compensated early childhood workforce.
Learn more about the Institute’s work.
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized national credential in early childhood education and an important stepping stone on the career pathway for many early childhood educators. In partnership with the Institute, a CDA Certificate is offered at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS). Graduates of the program receive 12 undergraduate college credits and preparation to obtain the national CDA Credential.
In order to create a pathway for early childhood professionals to continue their education in the early childhood field, CUNY SPS has articulation agreements with CUNY two-year colleges. Articulation agreements ensure that students can easily transfer the maximum number of credits to these partner institutions. We are pleased to announce that we have recently negotiated a new articulation agreement with LaGuardia Community College. Students who have earned early childhood credits at CUNY SPS will now be able to transfer those credits to the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hostos Community College, and Kingsborough Community College, in addition to LaGuardia. CUNY SPS students now have transfer options in four of NYC’s five boroughs, making it easier for students to work while completing their education.
Learn more about the CDA.
On May 29, 2019, 47 students received their Child Development Associate Certificate from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. A group of students were continuing their professional development to further their career in early childhood educationParticipants included child care owners, assistant teachers, and Head Start Teachers. Additionally, some students were making a change in their career and were new to the field of early childhood, including a military veteran. They all share a common desire to be great teachers and enjoy their work with children and families.
The majority of the students (33), were sponsored by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). The group were all parents with children in NYC ACS Head Start programs. They participated in their programs as volunteers, committee members, and delegate representatives. They worked to earn their CDA in order to continue to give back to the community programs that have provided so much to them and their families. They can now work as teacher assistants and lead teachers in the classrooms in which they once volunteered.
You can watch a short video here of CDA graduates discussing their experiences in the program, and another video here from Gary Dunbar, Assistant Director of the Committee for Early Childhood Development Head Start, discusses the importance of the Institute and ACS initiative to help parents of young children obtain the CDA.
The Institute applauds the hard work of the 47 CDA graduates and the Institute’s Director of Career Services and Higher Education, Claudine Campanelli. Claudine oversees the CDA program and the CPAC program in conjunction with the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
On a Special Note
One student in this year’s class was a special representation of the dedication that the graduates feel toward their education. Shontae Ferguson-Pryce was expecting a new baby and actually went into labor as the ceremony began! She was determined to walk across the stage to receive her CDA, so the order of the ceremony was rearranged and she walked the stage, aided by fellow graduates. After she received her certificate, EMT workers rushed her out of the building. Congratulations to Shontae on the birth of her baby boy!
The CUNY School of Professional Studies is hosting an Early Childhood Hiring Fair this June. The goal of the fair is to provide a space for CUNY students, alumni and early childhood professionals to meet with recruiters from top early childhood programs across the five boroughs. Event highlights include giveaways, light refreshments, and career advisors who will be available to provide one-on-one career counseling. Children ages 3-10 are welcome to attend the fair that will feature a craft table!
Early childhood leaders with teacher and assistant teacher vacancies at their programs can register for a recruitment table and interview space for screening candidates at no cost.
Those interested in participating can RSVP to Maxine Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Institute’s New York City Early Childhood Research Network brings research scientists and public agency leaders together to learn from each other, conduct research, and consider findings and their implications for public policy. A new Research Network study conducted by researchers from Bank Street Center on Culture, Race & Equity and National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University explores how early childhood instructional leaders work to improve teaching through feedback and guidance during classroom visits and other types of instructional support. The instructional leaders in the study worked in both schools and community-based settings that are part of New York City’s expanding network of preschool programs. The study found that while New York City pre-k teachers welcomed the support provided by leaders, there are several areas where the city can support leaders to have a greater impact on quality. Specific areas for improvement include: giving leaders more training on best practices in coaching to help teachers promote early learning in key areas such as language, social-emotional growth, and culturally-sustaining practices; establishing standards for the frequency of instructional leaders’ classroom visits; and helping leaders preserve time for visiting classrooms. The study provides recommendations to improve leaders’ coaching of teachers to increase classroom quality.
Access the full report at http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_1223.pdf and bankstreet.edu/prekleadershipstudy.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is committed to building a system that supports the early childhood workforce. Capturing teacher voices, understanding their professional and career development needs, and sharing key information to help policy makers ensures that we nurture a highly effective workforce. QUALITYstarsNY, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early learning programs, also places considerable emphasis on the early childhood workforce, investing extensive resources to support program leadership and teaching staff.
Recently, the Institute partnered with researchers at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley to study teachers’ work environments in QUALITYstarsNY programs. We were interested in comparing CSCCE’s Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) tool with QUALITYstarsNY Standards and ratings to determine whether center-based programs with high QUALITYstarsNY ratings would also score highly on SEQUAL.
This was important to us because SEQUAL measures five critical areas of the program environment that are essential for teachers to educate and nurture our young children: teaching supports, the learning community, job-crafting, adult well-being, and program leadership. In addition to providing rich data about QUALITYstarsNY and the way it successfully supports early childhood programs in New York State, we received other data about the workforce that contribute to a greater debate about the changes that need to be made to the system – locally, regionally and nationally.