Early Childhood Educator CDA Mentorship

Fairfax County, VA

Early Childhood Educator CDA Membership

Strengthening the Fairfax County Early Childhood Educator Workforce Pipeline through the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Mentoring Program

  • Developing a multi-year program designed to improve the quality of early childhood education in Fairfax County, VA set to begin in 2021, running through end of 2024
  • Partnering with Fairfax Futures and Fairfax County’s Office For Children
  • New pilot program will support the professional learning and development of the early childhood educator workforce and thus further improve the success of children in kindergarten and beyond
  • The mentoring program will look to identify CDA candidates and then help guide these cohorts to successfully attain the credential
  • Program is directly linked to the Fairfax County Equitable School Readiness Strategic Plan and to the J2W Foundation Strategic Plan IMPACT.2023

“I am very excited and happy to start my CDA. This is life-changing for me. I feel so blessed that I am surrounded by wonderful people who are working on doing great things and supporting early childhood educators so we can provide the best care to our young children and future leaders. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!” – Aspiring CDA educator, June 2021

Measures of Performance

For more information, please see Data Analysis section at the bottom of the page

Data Analysis

  1. Goal: To pilot a new early childhood educator program to support the professional learning and development of the ECE workforce, with the intent to further improve the success of children in kindergarten and beyond. The mentoring program will look to identify CDA candidates and then help guide these cohorts with a professional consulting team to successfully attain the credential.
  2. The CDA Mentoring Program is being implemented by the Fairfax County-based Fairfax Futures non-profit organization, in partnership with Fairfax County’s Office for Children. 
  3. By Q2/2024, the program measured several output measures:
    1. The year-end target was to maintain a cohort of approximately 45 educators, with a mix of both home-based and center-based participants. By July 2024, the program successfully graduated 22 educators (15 from home-based programs and 7 from centers). There are currently another 15 educators in the pipeline expected to graduate by late fall 2024. 59% of the current graduates work in Opportunity Neighborhoods and 57% are English Language Learners.
    2. Out of the full 37 educator cohort, 14 are from center-based programs and 23 are from home-based programs. 94% total are English Language Learners and 65% are from Opportunity Neighborhoods.
    3. We saw a rise in the number of participants completing the critical CDA portfolio piece (27%). Our year-end goal was 20%, which we did not achieve, earning a “green” score.  
  4. We developed and launched two outcome metric surveys at the end of 2022 to our CDA population with Fairfax County to assess how the educators feel the CDA has helped both their own professional development as well as how the credential may impact student performance.
    1. Baseline data on how educators perceive the CDA helps, or greatly helps, developing their career goals scored a 95%. We will assess again at the end of the program in the fall 2024.
    2. Baseline data on how educators perceive the CDA positively impacts, or greatly impacts, the lives of the children taught scored a 94%. We will also assess again at the end of the program in the fall 2024.