Nicole Garland (left) and her daughter, Alexis Garland
(right) not only work together but supported each
other as they pursued their CDA Credential.


Nicole Garland and her daughter, Alexis, are first-hand examples of just that, as both are pursuing their Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), while working at Frock Childcare Learning Center in Mt. Pleasant, PA.

Their love for teaching children is more than a profession. Previously a stay-at-home mother of three, Nicole was determined to continue the type of work she loves. “Now that my children are older, I was able to get a full-time job, and what more rewarding job is there than being at a daycare, where you get to teach and watch the children learn and grow every day?” she asks.

Alexis clearly “inherited” her mother’s passion for parenthood and this profession. “I have a big family, so there was always a new baby. Being able to play with them and watch them grow made me happy,” she shares.

Both Nicole and Alexis credit Center Director Charlene Frock for encouraging them to pursue their CDA and sup- porting them as they completed their coursework at Westmoreland County Community College. (WCCC). “Charlene Frock encourages all of her staff to get their CDA,” Alexis says, adding that several staff members are pursuing a CDA, an Associate’s Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education. Both Nicole and Alexis recognize the integral role Brandi Weekley, a professor at WCCC, played in their academic success.

“I would not have pursued the CDA if I didn’t get help from the PDO and other financial aid, Nicole says. “All my professors have been absolutely amazing. They would get back to me in a very timely manner and help in any way possible. I never once felt like I was alone in anything at WCCC. Brandi Weekley at WCCC answered any and all questions I had and worked with me when things got rough. She never gave up on me,” Nicole adds.

Careful time management planning, including plotting out due dates for assignments on a planner, and setting aside dedicated time for school work has been key to both Nicole’s and Alexis’s academic success. Both have completed their CDA coursework and are in portfolio development and looking forward to the final steps of credentialing. “I have learned why taking observations is so important, what milestones each age group should be meeting, and more about physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development,” Nicole adds. Learning these things through school has opened up a whole new perspective for me at a job I love.”

Congratulations, Nicole and Alexis, and thank you for all your hard work on behalf of young children!