Child Development Associate Credential
What is CDA?
The Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program is a major national effort initiated in 1971. The purpose of the program is to enhance the quality of childcare by defining, evaluating, and recognizing the competence of childcare providers. Assessment and credentialing of childcare providers is administered by the Council for Professional Recognition. (The Council)
Why should I work toward a CDA credential?
Applying for a CDA assessment is a big commitment. However, working towards a CDA credntial can be a rewarding experience. It offers you an opportunity to:
- Take a look at your work in relation to national standards.
- Get feedback and support from people who have experience working with children and knowledge about early childhood education/child development.
- Improve your skills in ways that are satisfying for yourself and beneficial for children
- Earn a professional credential that is recognized by early childhood educators nationwide
What is required of me?
The CDA is awarded when a person demonstrates that they have gained information and skills that they are able
to apply in their day-to-day working with children and families. The CDA candidate completes:
- 120 hours of formal child care training
- 480 hours of experience working with young children (birth - age 5) in group setting
They evaluates you in 5 areas:
- The Professional Resource File
- Parent Opinion Questionnaires
- A CDA Assessment Observation
- An Early Childhood Studies Review
- An Oral Interview
How can I obtain my 120 hours of formal childcare training?
Formal education hours must be taken through an agency or organization with expertise in early childhood. Such agencies include: a college or university, resource and referral agencies, or other approved early childhood training sites. Scholarships are available.
How long will it take for me to receive my formal childcare training hours?
It could take between 9 - 24 months, depending on the training site's schedule. Child Care Answers offers classes in four counties, has master degreed instructors and a variety of location options.
3 hours one night a week - completed in about 11 months.