Kaleidoscope Assistant Director and Lead Toddler Teacher win national award

  • Wed Mar 2nd, 2016 8:15pm

Contributed photoKami Griffin (left) and Vala Ross.

Submitted by Kaleidoscope

Vala Ross and Kami Griffin of Kaleidoscope Preschool and Child Care Center in Eastsound have been awarded a national Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential from the Council of Professional Recognition in Washington, DC in recognition of outstanding work with young children. The Council recognizes and credentials early care and education professionals who demonstrate an understanding of how the Council’s nationally recognized CDA Competency Standards can help teachers support young children’s early care and learning experiences.

“It takes special knowledge, skills, and expertise to be an effective teacher of young children,” says Valora Washington, CEO of the Council. “It’s a great honor to earn a CDA and it shows a commitment to quality early childhood education.”

To obtain a CDA Credential, candidates must demonstrate through a comprehensive evaluation process their knowledge of the Council’s CDA Competency Standards and be observed working with young children. Ethna Flanagan, San Juan County’s ECEAP Coordinator, is certified as a Professional Development Specialist, and conducted the Site Verification Visits for both candidates. After successfully completing the observation and exam, Vala and Kami were both awarded their CDA – valid for three years.

Vala Ross is Kaleidoscope’s Assistant Director, and Kami Griffin is Kaleidoscope’s Lead Toddler Teacher. Vala and Kami are both continuing their higher education to obtain a transferable AAS in Early Childhood Education. Through their studies, they have been able to professionalize their role as early childhood educators, strengthening the programs that are offered at Kaleidoscope. The CDA Competency Standards give them tools to establish and maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for children, advance physical and intellectual competence of children, and support social-emotion development by providing positive guidance of children. It also encourages educators to establish positive and productive relationships with families, ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs, and maintain a commitment to professionalism, early care, and education.

As Child Development Associates, Vala and Kami will be teaching Orcas Island’s youngest children and helping them to grow and develop at the most critical period of their lives. The importance of this work cannot be underestimated. Kaleidoscope staff and board is proud of their individual accomplishments.