Successful Pathways®

Successful Pathways®


Successful Pathways® is an accelerated opportunity to obtain a CDA® credential from the Council of Professional Recognition offered to newly hired and current employees (a.k.a. Participant) of the YWCA Early Education Program, along with newly hired and current employees of local childcare partners.

This Department of Labor registered apprenticeship is designed to support the development of future early education professionals.

Who can participate?

A Successful Pathways® Participant is an individual who is interested in becoming an early educator who works with children ages birth to five (5) years old and their families. Participants must have a high school diploma/GED, make an application with a provider, pass background/fingerprint check, and fulfill all other pre-hire requirements. There is no cost for participants.

What is the CDA®?

The Child Development Associate (CDA®) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE), and it is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. The CDA® is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA® is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

How is the pre-credentialing program designed?

Participants will gain 480.0 hours of on-the-job training in a Head Start/Early Head Start or childcare classroom. Each week, candidates will complete fifteen (15) clock hours of required early education training and coursework, consisting of no fewer than ten (10) training hours in each of the eight CDA® subject areas. Employees will shadow, observe, and participate in classroom tasks, practice a minimum of three different teaching styles, and engage in daily classroom experiences.

The Individual Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio is a learning management system created to support ongoing professional development for staff in Head Start and childcare settings. It has accessible, self-paced courses based on staff roles and interests. The iPD courses offer continuing education units (CEUs) upon completion and meet Child Development Associate (CDA®) Credential professional development requirements.

Upon completion of the pre-credentialing requirements, participants will apply for CDA® and within six months will prepare a portfolio, participate in a CDA Verification Visit conducted by a CDA® Professional Development (PD) Specialist, and complete the CDA® Exam. An intense coaching and curriculum training will complete the 2,000-hour program.

What will YWCA's Economic Empowerment Program provide?

Successful Pathways® participants are automatically enrolled in YWCA’s Economic Empowerment Program to sustain them while they are in the CDA® program. Through this program, participants can access wraparound services for rent/utility assistance, transportation, food, and housing. Additional opportunities available through Economic Empowerment include career readiness training and financial education that encourages banking, saving, and asset development.

Application Process

Individuals interested in applying for Successful Pathways® or needing additional information, please contact:

Angel Clower | Curriculum Instruction Manager
314.427.4940, ext. 1062
aclower@headstart.ywcastlouis.org

Skip to content