U.S. Sec. of Education stresses importance of early learning & MCC offers programs to help

This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made a stop in Kansas City and talked about the importance of early learning.

He spent time with students and teachers Monday at Kansas City’s Woodland Early Learning Community School. It was the first stop of his his annual 10-city Back to School bus tour.  This year he is talking about “Ready for Success” and highlighting the importance of including children with disabilities in high-quality early learning programs. Duncan is also focusing on the importance of early childhood education.

Two students from Metropolitan Community College’s Child Growth and Development Associate of Applied Science program are interning at Woodland this semester.

MCC alumnus and Kansas City Mayor Sly James was also on hand for the visit and posted video to his Facebook page. Click on the link to watch the video: https://vimeo.com/139271264

The Kansas City Star also covered the visit and according to an article published this week, the Secretary of Education said, ” in Missouri about 80 percent of preschool children don’t have access to quality care. About 6,000 preschool-age children live within Kansas City district boundaries, but fewer than 1,700 are being served in its schools.

In a brief speech, to a room full of Kansas City community and education leaders, Duncan stressed that investing in early childhood learning is the nation’s best course of action for success well into the future.

Last fall the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce made kindergarten readiness one of its Big Five initiatives. “It became clear that we needed to focus attention on kindergarten readiness, an appalling number of our children can’t read at grade level by third grade,” said Jim Heeter, chamber president.”

If you are interested in  learning more about the early childhood profession, MCC offers a program that can help you jumpstart your career.


The Child Development Associate (CDA) certification is awarded to childcare providers who have demonstrated proficiency working with young children in the areas of a child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth. Preparation for this certification is available at the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Francis Institute. This credential is nationally recognized by 49 states and the District of Columbia for its standards of excellence.

Preparation for the assessment includes the following coursework:

  1. Fundamentals of Early Care and Education – 3 credit hours
  2. Child Health, Safety and Nutrition – 3 credit hours
  3. Learning Environments I – 3 credit hours
  4. CDA Competency Documentation – 2 credit hours

Benefits of attaining the CDA Credential include: