Preschool Assistant/High School Student/Child Development Associate Degree holder
School/work experience: Max already has earned his child development associate degree (CDA) through a program at Warren Central High School that combines regular courses with a job at the Warren Early Childhood Center. He works with three- to five-year-olds at the center. “I got interested through my grandparents, because they run a day care. I used to be a part of that day care and then started helping out.”
What it’s like: “Right now I’m taking several dual-credit classes—math, history, a Spanish class and advanced English. My main focus is early childhood education—a three-hour, dual-credit class. I work at preschool after school is over. We do a lot of center work and crafts and writing. Every day I read them a book. Sometimes we do math skills and work with blocks and colors.”
Benefits: The program “gives me a head start that most people don’t have. You may have an idea of what you want to do, and being able to start in the field early let me see if I liked it and also allowed me to get my CDA.”
What’s next: “I’m taking summer school classes to clear my schedule. I’ll be doing an Extended Learning Opportunities work-study program and will get college and school credits while I work.”
College plans: He hopes to attend an Indianapolis-area university, major in early childhood education and minor in theater.
Future: Max wants to be a lead preschool teacher. “My interests are working in the field and helping kids…. You can see them grow over the years.”
Advice: “Only do this if you have an actual interest. These are people’s babies and you’re in some cases responsible for another life. You need to take it seriously. It’s a lot of fun and I encourage you to try it. The earlier you try, the better—it saves you time and money.”