Child Development Associate

What is the CDA?

CDAThe Child Development Associate (CDA) is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.

The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council for Professional Recognition works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

What does it take to earn a CDA?

Earning a CDA is a big commitment, but it is one that creates confident practitioners with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children. A typical CDA course is about 4 months long and meets once a week. During this time, a candidate will explore 6 different CDA Competency Goals. Those competency goals are further broken down and elaborated upon in 13 different Functional Areas. Click the link below to learn more about the CDA Competency Goals and their Functional Areas.

What are the Benefits?

CDA recipients have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDA recipients know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

Earning the CDA Credential has many advantages, including exposure to the larger community of early childhood educators. Over 260,000 educators have received their CDA to date!

Benefits of a CDA

  • Advance your career
  • Meet job requirements
  • Reinforce your commitment to early childhood education
  • Provide parents with peace of mind
  • Understand developmentally appropriate practice
  • Skills to increase your confidence
Want to know more about earning a CDA?
Click here for a full breakdown of the steps that it takes to become a CDA recipient
Need to renew your CDA?
Want information on why and how to renew? Click here for CDA Renewal Information
Missing paperwork? Not sure what forms you need?
Click here for information and Downloadable CDA Forms