STEPS TO EARN YOUR PRESCHOOL CDA CREDENTIAL
Anytime before I apply
- Earn a high school diploma, GED or be enrolled as a junior or senior in a high school career and technical program in early childhood education.
Complete 120 hours of formal early childhood education training, covering the growth and development of children ages 3 to 5 years old, with no fewer than 10 training hours in each of the eight CDA subject areas.
CDA Subject Areas
– Planning a safe and healthy learning environment
– Advancing children’s physical and intellectual development
– Supporting children’s social and emotional development
– Building productive relationships with families
– Managing an effective program operation
– Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
– Observing and recording children’s behavior
– Understanding principles of child development and learning
Within 3 years of submitting application:
- Obtain 480 hours of professional work experience in a center-based setting with children ages 3-5 years old.
Within 6 months of submitting application:
- Prepare your CDA Professional Portfolio – You are required to put together a collection of reference materials related to your work. Please follow the detailed instructions in your Competency Standards book to prepare your CDA Professional Portfolio.
- Apply online for your CDA Credential the fee is $400
- The non-refundable / non-transferable application fee of $425 must be submitted with your application. Make sure to secure the funds before you submit your application. Learn about CDA scholarships in your state.
- Once your CDA application has been reviewed and accepted you will receive a Ready to Schedule notification from the Council.
- Once you receive your Ready to Schedule notification from the Council, you are ready to schedule your CDA Verification Visit and CDA Exam.
- Scores are electronically submitted to the Council by the CDA PD Specialist and Pearson Vue testing center.
- A Council committee will review the results of your assessment and render a decision whether to award you the CDA Credential. If your credential is awarded, the official Child Development Associate® credential will be mailed to you. If the committee decides you need more training, the Council will let you know the next steps to take to earn the Credential.