$50,000 Orlando Magic Youth Fund Grant Improve Lives of Orange County Infant and Toddlers

(ELCOC) was pleased to find they were the recipients of a $50,000 grant from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, A McCormick Foundation Fund. The $50,000 is eligible for match contributions of $15.67 per each dollar raised, providing more than $780,000 to help move children off of the waiting list and into safe, affordable early care services.

The training program provides 80 hours of specific infant/toddler training to support infant/toddler teachers, guiding them through intensive age-appropriate learning experiences as they work toward obtaining their national Child Development Associate credential. With this funding, an additional 20 infant/toddler teachers will be able to take part in the Infant/Toddler CDA Coaching Program, creating more informed and responsive educators for Orange County’s youngest members.

“It’s remarkable to see the growth in knowledge of our infant/toddler teachers”, said Dr. Cindy Jurie, Director of Research and Special Projects at the ELCOC. “There is a dramatic change from beginning to end in how our participating teachers view themselves and the importance of their work caring for infants and toddlers. The feedback we get from directors who’ve had teachers in this program is amazing. Teachers take what they learn and bring it back to their centers, sharing with other teachers.”

A director whose teachers participated in the program previously shared, “The two teachers that I recommended for this program are a huge success. I knew where they started from and now at the completion of this program, they are full of self -confidence and I am very proud of them. There have been programs in the past that were geared toward infant/toddler setting; however this, so far is the best. This is a more hands on, true to life program, the teacher is looking at her peers and herself and making changes to herself and environment and at the same time understands the reasons for the change. I could go on and on, but again this is a great program for the infant/toddler teachers of Orlando.”

This year the ELCOC expects to see the 100th Infant/Toddler CDA awarded since the creation of this program in 2012 with OMYF funding. To date, 76 infant/toddler teachers have earned their National Infant/Toddler CDA with a 100 percent pass rate. Because of the specialized, age-appropriate training infant/toddler teachers receive from the program, more than 1,800 infants and toddlers in Orange County child care centers receive better care every day.

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