The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is a way for child care professionals to substantially increase your knowledge of the early care and education best practices, demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the area of early childhood care and education, and advance your career in a meaningful way.
The nationally recognized CDA credential is awarded after:
- Successful completion of a 120 hour professional training program
- Demonstration of skills needed to work with children and their families
- Successful completion of a resource file
- Submission of a credential assessment application to the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C.
- Successful completion of a formal written and oral review by a representative from the Council for Professional Recognition
Successful completion means you are able to:
- Establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment
- Advance physical and intellectual competence
- Support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance
- Establish positive and productive relationships with families
- Ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs
- Maintain a commitment to professionalism
There are three ways to obtain the CDA:
- Our online 120 hour online training program – infant-toddler or pre-school or family child care – with some in-person support. This program can be started at any time.
- Our in-person 120 hour class for infant-toddler and family child care program teachers that is held from September to June. Sponsored by the Westchester County Office for Women, there is only a $50 materials fee for this class.
- Our in-person 120 hour class for preschool teachers that is offered each year. Sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Workforce Investment, there is only a $50 materials fee for this class.
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have at least one (1) year’s work experience in a licensed child care program or nursery school
- Be able to speak, read and write in English fluently enough to fulfill the responsibilities of a CDA candidate