CAP of Ramsey & Washington Counties pilots Child Development Associate Credential Training program

CAP of Ramsey & Washington Counties pilots Child Development Associate Credential Training program


Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties (CAPRW) launched a pilot program this fall to address the need for more Head Start teachers and a path to employment for parents/caregivers – the Child Development Associate Credential Training Program.

“Our new pilot program was born out of our multi-year initiative to implement the Whole-Family Approach across our organization,” explained Catherine Fair, executive director of CAPRW. “In alignment with our newly-refined continuum of care philosophy, we are partnering with people seeking to move from crisis toward prosperity.”

“We wanted to create a career pathway for Head Start parents based on market need and to also meet a staffing need in Head Start,” added Pamela Maldonado, director of Financial Opportunity Programs at CAPRW.

The pilot brings together two departments – Financial Opportunity Programs and Head Start, in partnership with the YWCA to deliver the curriculum and instruction.

“Planning began in March with the YWCA,” said Maldonado. “Targeted recruitment, intake meetings, and application screenings occurred in late summer and the cohort kicked off in early October and will continue through March 2022.”

Participants will be paid as interns throughout the six-month, 32-hour a week training. Child care and transportation assistance is made available as needed during the program. Graduates of the program will receive their Child Development Associate-Preschool Credential, making them qualified to work in Head Start programs or other high-quality preschool programs throughout the community.

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to our current Head Start parents and caretakers,” Fair added. “Not only will it give participants a leg-up in establishing a new career but, we hope, it will also be an effective way to fill openings with people who have first-hand experience with parenting while managing a low-income household. We welcome this opportunity to tap into their knowledge and insight on behalf of all our families.”

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