Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
Early childhood practitioners can use their early childhood training to become a Child Development Associate (CDA). Practitioners who have a CDA and 1,560 hours of experience as an assistant teacher, aide or student intern qualify as a Teacher under the Department of Human Services Licensing Rules.
The CDA Credential is awarded by the Council of Professional Recognition for center-based (preschool or infant/toddler), family child care, or home visitor settings. Bilingual endorsements are available for all three settings. A Military School-Age Credential is also available for school-age practitioners who serve children in a Military School-Age setting. Practitioners who would like to earn a CDA must be 18 years of age or older, hold a high school diploma or GED, have 480 hours of experience working with children within the past five years, and have 120 clock hours of formal child care education within the past five years. The formal education hours can be credit or noncredit.
Practitioners seeking the CDA also prepare a Professional Resource file, collect Parent Opinion Questionnaires, and are observed by their CDA advisor. A representative from the Council for Professional Recognition conducts a verification visit that involves checking the resource file, a multiple choice exam, and an oral interview. The credential is valid for three years from the award date. The CDA can be renewed for an additional five years. Scholarships are available for the assessment fee. For more information see the Council for Professional Recognition website http://www.cdacouncil.org/.