(Bradenton, FL, June 13, 2017) The Early Childhood Education apprenticeship program at Manatee Technical College graduated 33 students on June 13. All graduated having earned the national Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, which is considered key to career advancement in early childhood education.
Our field is misunderstood, said graduate Rachel Miles. We are not babysitters. The graduates work with every age group from infants to school age, from school readiness to after-school care.
The Early Childhood Education program is a Registered Apprenticeship program in the state of Florida. Classes meet in the evening as students must be employed by a participating early childhood education facility, of which there are 50 in Manatee County. Students go through 288 hours of classroom training and 4,000 hours of on-site supervised work experience over a two-year period.
According to MTC apprenticeship coordinator, Michelle Meluch, beginning in October 2018, the CDA Credential will be a state of Florida requirement for anyone working directly with children in school readiness programs.