The College Experience is now celebrating a major professional accomplishment of Mia Carr who just earned her Certified Daycare Assistant (CDA) Certificate! Mia, a member of the 2014 – 2016 class, focused on childcare in school and has been working in childcare ever since. Earning her CDA took dedication. It required Mia to complete 120 hours of formal classroom training, 480 hours of working experience, development of a professional “portfolio” outlining lesson plans and activities, successfully passing a formal “in-classroom” observation and then passing a written exam!

Mia enjoys working with young children and states, “I like the way they learn.” The four-year olds are her favorite age group and she adds, “You can have a full conversation with them and teach them how to act with their classmates and how to solve their own problems.” Mia is also instrumental in teaching them how to write their names as well as educating them about fundamental skills such as letters and numbers. Mia has been working full-time as a teacher’s assistant in a local pre-school since August of 2017. She spent the first half of the school year working in a very busy classroom, where she had daily interaction with the same children. For the second half of the year, Mia is serving as a “Floater” in the classrooms, which means she goes around to every classroom and assists teachers in many different settings.

When asked to describe one of her favorite memories that reminds her why she is passionate about childcare, Mia told a story about a time when she organized an activity for the students to paint a poster. She gave each child a poster to paint and one child said, “Miss Mia, I found green.” But there was no green on the table. He had discovered how to make green by mixing colors together. Mia praised the child and said, “Show me how you did that!”

“The most important part of the job is keeping a positive attitude,” says Mia. “You have to always assure the students that everything is okay.” But the most wonderful part of her career is teaching the kids something they will do every day. There are also moments of humor that add spice into the workday. For example, a three-year-old girl with a language delay said something that Mia thought was a bad word. Mia laughed but remained professional despite the humor in the misunderstanding. There is also a little girl who says inappropriate things to her peers, and Mia will remind her to “do what is right” and be nice to her classmates.

Mia has a tremendous amount of support from her loving family but also credits the College Experience for giving her the skills necessary to be successful in her professional and personal life. Her advice to current students and fellow alumni is the following: “Don’t give up on what you really believe in because all of your hard work will pay off. Keep your mind wide open, stay positive and do what you know is right.”