UVA, Teachstone Partner to Help Early Childhood Educators Pursue Credential, College Credit

Little Kids sitting at a table coloring
November 18, 2020

As child care centers and pre-kindergarten programs reopen this fall, numerous providers are looking for ways to support their teachers at a time when families need experienced child care educators more than ever. A new partnership between Teachstone and the University of Virginia helps new and veteran educators strengthen their practice and earn college credit from one of the nation’s premier universities.

Through the partnership, UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies will offer a series of online courses delivered in collaboration with Teachstone that culminate in the industry standard Child Development Associate credential. Educators who complete the courses earn nine college credits from UVA, which can build toward a bachelor’s degree.

The courses are based on Teachstone’s CDA With CLASS program that provides child care and early childhood education practitioners with a strong foundation in child development and a research-based understanding of how to foster positive interactions with children that result in learning and social-emotional development.

“In the midst of COVID-19, we’ve seen unprecedented turnover among early childhood educators and caregivers, creating unique challenges in quickly training a new early childhood workforce. As we welcome many new educators to our field, this fully online program is designed to help educators strengthen their understanding of child development and effective teaching strategies, while advancing their careers in the field,” Teachstone CEO Bridget Hamre said.

CDA with CLASS is the only program that blends the requirements of a CDA credential with Teachstone’s CLASS methodology, the industry standard for measuring student-teacher interactions and improving the teaching and learning experience, and has received the CDA Gold Standard Certification from the Council for Professional Recognition.

“The University of Virginia is home to world-class early learning faculty who are advancing new understanding in the fields of child development and early learning. In fact, it was UVA researchers who developed the groundbreaking CLASS methodology that now informs these courses,” Alex Hernandez, dean of UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, said. “We are excited to help early childhood educators gain new skills and take an important step toward completing their college degrees, particularly in this moment when educators deserve every possible support.”

Teachstone’s Hamre added, “We are proud UVA will provide educators with stackable college credits from an institution that has been pioneering understanding and discovery in our field for decades. These credits can help a student on their way to a degree, and this new partnership enables us to deliver on our mission of helping every child reach their full potential by measuring and improving the interactions that matter most.”

KinderCare Education, the nation’s largest private provider of early childhood education and care, is among the providers that use the CDA with CLASS program to train its teachers; to date, 4,000 KinderCare educators have completed the CDA with CLASS program. Teachstone provides professional development to KinderCare teachers, delivering online courses and training modules to meet the specific needs of educators in a variety of child care and education settings across the country.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to support our talented teachers so they’re able to continue to do what they do best: create wonderful learning environments for children,” said Tracy Kofski, vice president of total rewards for KinderCare Education. “We’re committed to supporting our teachers through a variety of professional development opportunities. Teachstone’s program allows us to do that by providing our teachers with courses that allow teachers to learn when and where they are able to.”

Media Contact

Rob Seal

School of Continuing and Professional Studies