Child Development Centers CEO Receives National Recognition for Leadership

EYT Media


Published December 6, 2022 5:30 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 11:33 pm

ERIE, Pa. – Rina Irwin, Chief Executive Officer at Child Development Centers, Inc. (CDC), recently received a nationwide recognition for her leadership.
At the 11th Annual What’s Right in Education Conference in Pensacola, Florida, Irwin was presented with a 2022 Difference Maker Award by Studer Education. Since its inception in 2018, less than 10 leaders have received this national recognition and distinguished award.

“I’m honored to have received this incredible award from Studer Education and have the opportunity to showcase the work being done throughout our centers,” said Irwin. “As we continue to grow and expand, CDC is proud to continue making a difference in the lives of the children and families that we serve.”
In her role as CEO, Irwin oversees an organization that provides child care and early childhood education to nearly 2,000 children across 14 centers in Venango, Crawford and Erie counties. This recognition comes after Irwin recently received the CEO of the Year Award for 2022 at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, which is presented by the Nonprofit Partnership in Erie.
Guided by her leadership, the Asbury Child Development Center was also named the 2022 Erie’s Choice Awards Winner for preschool and child care in Erie. These awards, which are presented by the Erie Times-News, allow people to nominate and vote for the organizations that they feel are most deserving and make an incredible impact on the Erie community.
Since Irwin stepped into the role of CEO, she has led CDC to double participation in both parent satisfaction and employee engagement surveys, which demonstrates her concern and commitment to actively listening and responding to her stakeholders.

“As we remain committed to ensuring an atmosphere in which all children and employees can grow and thrive, this valuable feedback allows us to celebrate our successes and to also create any necessary action plans for continuous quality improvement,” said Irwin.

Throughout the 14 locations of child care and early childhood learning centers that she leads in northwestern Pennsylvania, Irwin organized alignment, cascaded information and demonstrated impressive growth during those years. 
In addition to Irwin’s personal achievements, she is coached by Dr. Kathy Oropallo, a Studer Education coach, who said that Irwin is extremely passionate about CDC being more than just child care centers and that she “is committed to bringing a developmental and educational focus to prepare children to meet and exceed kindergarten readiness, elementary school and beyond.”
During her time as CEO, some of Irwin’s other noteworthy accomplishments include:
Twelve Child Development Centers, including the Asbury, Cascade, Century and Gilson centers in Erie County, the Willow center in Crawford County, and the Cranberry, Franklin, Franklin-School Age, Grant Street, Hasson Heights, Seventh Street, and Oil City centers in Venango County have Star 4 ratings from Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS educational quality improvement initiative. Star 4, which is Keystone STARS’ highest rating, is based on compliance with health and safety requirements, early childhood learning standards, staff education criteria and other quality measures.

Five of the 12 centers mentioned above, (the Oil City, Franklin, Franklin School-Age, Hasson Heights and Cranberry centers) are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Each five-year accreditation recognizes that a CDC facility is meeting NAEYC’s 10 early childhood programs standards, which are intended to maximize the quality of care and education that a child receives.
NAEYC accreditation and Keystone Star 4 ratings put CDC in select company, as less than three percent of Pennsylvania’s 8,500 regulated providers have achieved both of these marks of excellence.

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