The Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children

The Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children (CPDUC) primary goal is to bridge the voices of teachers, practitioners, families, and advocates, with the policy initiatives that impact the positive development of New Jersey's children. The work of CPDUC encompasses a holistic approach that utilizes best practices, policy analysis, and research to improve the health, well-being, and educational outcomes for children and adults working with families. The Center focuses on various policies and initiatives across New Jersey and leveraging additional support in the state through policy briefs and studies; and serving on task forces and boards that directly influence public policy that affect children, families, and the workforce working with children, families, parents, teachers, and other professionals.

Center's Goals:

  • To advocate for strong public policies that support the positive development of all children in New Jersey, particularly urban children.
  • To provide quality professional development opportunities and technical assistance for teachers/practitioners through various programs across New Jersey.
  • To support teachers navigating the New Jersey teacher certification system.
  • To assure that early childhood teachers learn to use culture and language as anchor for development by providing training and mentoring through the New Jersey Cultural Competency and English Language Learning Summer Institute and Mentoring Program.
  • To advocate for adequate investment of resources in the area of early childhood development and education.
  • To advocate on health issues such of child obesity, asthma, anti-bullying and environmental effects on children's overall health and development.

Center's Accomplishments:

  • 1995 - The Abbott Preschool Initiative was launched, which served as a clearinghouse for early childhood teachers looking to explore career and academic options. Advisement and mentoring was provided to teachers working on certification and career advancement.
  • 2006 - The Center provided the leadership and the oversight to the New Jersey Child Care Economic Impact Council who commissioned an economic impact study of the child care industry. A report was later released entitled, Benefits for All: The first Economic Impact of New Jersey Child Care Industry Infant/Toddler, Preschool and Out-of-School Programs.
  • 2007 - The Center launched the first New Jersey Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Summer Institute and Mentoring Program for early childhood teachers. The program uses an evidence-based approach to transform teachers' thinking and practices to support culturally and linguistically diverse children in early childhood classrooms. The findings from the first pilot program were published in a report entitled, Threads of Cultures. Every year the findings of the program are published. Since it's conception, over 100 early childhood teachers have graduated from the program.
  • 2008 - The Center engaged non-traditional champions for children to increase early childhood investments through hosted forums (face to face and via web-based seminar) to build Family Friendly Cities in partnership with the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
  • 2010 - The Center's director presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association's Annual conference in New Orleans entitled, Closing the Cultural Gap: Transforming Early Childhood Teacher's Thinking about Culture and Language. The paper shared the lesson learned from the New Jersey Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Summer Institute and Mentoring Program for early childhood teachers.

Meet the Center Director

 

» Ana I. Berdecia, MEd