Child Development Associate Certification - post

Child Development Associate Certification

image in article Child Development Associate CertificationThe Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is one of the most recognized and appreciated credentialing programs in the area of Early Childhood Education. Obtaining your Child Development Associate Credential involves a process that includes completing professional development training and the application of knowledge in a formal observation. 
 
Visit our CDA Certification and Renewal Page for training options
 

Unlocking The Power of The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential!

Are you an early childhood professional looking to take your career to the next level? If so, the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential could be the perfect fit for you! A CDA credential is a national credential awarded to early childhood educators who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and early education. With a CDA credential, you can become a leader in the field of early childhood and open the door to new opportunities.

In this article, we will explore:

  1. The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential
  2. The benefits of becoming CDA credentialed
  3. How to obtain Child Development Associate Credential
  4. Preparing for the CDA exam
  5. What to expect during the CDA exam
  6. After you get your Child Development Associate Credential - the CDA Credential Renewal Requirements
  7. Strategies for successful CDA exam preparation
  8. Resources for CDA credential
  9. Tips for making the most of your CDA credential

Before we begin, you need to understand that there are different tracks (settings) for CDA Credentialing. The tracks are specific to children's age groups as well as the early education setting.

Definition of a center-based program

A center-based program is a program, which must satisfy two conditions:
1. Has at least 10 enrolled children, who may or may not be in the same CDA candidate's group
2. Has at least two educators ( teachers or caregivers )

Choosing the setting

Given the above definition, carefully review the CDA Credential settings and choose the one that best describes your requirements:

  1. PRESCHOOL: center-based, state-approved, and can be used for observing the candidate working with at least 8 children ages 3 through 5 years old.
  2. INFANT-TODDLER: center-based, state-approved, and can be used for observing the candidate working with at least 3 children under the age of 3 years old.
  3. FAMILY CHILD CARE: A family child care home, meets minimum state approval and is acceptable if the locality or state does not require approval, can be used to observe the candidate working with at least 2 children 5 years old or younger who are not related to the Candidate by blood or marriage.
  4. HOME VISITOR: A home visitor setting is an established program of home visits, to families with children 5 years old or younger, which supports parents in meeting the needs of their young children. In this setting, regular home visits are the primary method of program delivery. This track follows a different set of requirements, more details are here: https://www.cdacouncil.org/en/educator-pathways/home-visitor/

1. Introduction to The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is a national credential awarded to early childhood educators who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and early education. The CDA credential was developed by the Council for Professional Recognition (CPR), a nonprofit organization that works to promote quality early childhood education and care through the certification and recognition of early childhood professionals.

The CDA credential is highly respected and recognized by employers, parents, and other professionals in the field of early childhood. It is an important credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the areas of child development, observation and assessment, guidance and support, program planning, and professional development.

2. Benefits of The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The CDA credential is a valuable and sought-after credential that can open doors to new opportunities in the field of early childhood. With a CDA credential, you can demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and development, and show employers and parents that you are knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of child development and early education.

Some of the benefits of the CDA credential include:

  • Increased job opportunities: A CDA credential can help you stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired for a job in the field of early childhood.
  • Increased pay: The CDA credential can also help you earn a higher salary than those without the credential.
  • Professional recognition: With a CDA credential, you can demonstrate to employers, parents, and other professionals that you are knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of child development and early education.
  • Increased confidence: With the CDA credential, you can increase your confidence in your knowledge and skills in the field of early childhood.

3. How to Become CDA Credentialed

If you are interested in becoming CDA credentialed, there are several steps you need to take. The first step is to apply for the CDA credential. This application includes information about your background, education, and experience in the field of early childhood.

You will need the following in order to complete your CDA

  1. Earn a high school diploma, or GED or be enrolled as a junior or senior in a high school career and technical program in early childhood education.
  2. Complete 120 hours of formal early childhood education training, covering the growth and development of children ages birth to 36 months, with no fewer than 10 training hours in each of the eight CDA® subject areas. See our CDA page for this step.
  3. Obtain 480 hours of professional work experience in a center-based setting with children ages birth to 36 months, or 3-5 years of age depending on which CDA you are working to obtain.
  4. Prepare your CDA professional portfolio. This is a collection of reference materials related to your work with children and families.
  5. Select a CDA Professional Development (PD) Specialist™ to conduct your CDA Verification Visit®, which is part of your final assessment. Your PD Specialist will review your professional portfolio, observe you working with the children, complete a Reflective Dialogue with you, and submit score recommendations to the Council.
  6. Apply online using YourCouncil and pay the online assessment fee of $425

Once your application is approved, you will need to complete the CDA assessment. This assessment includes a written exam, an observation of your work with children, and a professional portfolio.

Once you have completed the CDA assessment, you will need to submit the assessment results to the Council for Professional Recognition. Once your results have been approved, you will be awarded the CDA credential.

 

 

image in article Child Development Associate Certification

Money Saver Hint!

You can save a lot of money by joining our annual CDA subscription for $99. It contains trainings covering all of the CDA tracks including renewals.

 

4. Preparing for the CDA Exam

The CDA exam is an important part of the CDA credentialing process and it is important to take the time to prepare for it. The exam covers a variety of topics including child development, observation and assessment, guidance and support, program planning, and professional development.

To prepare for the CDA exam, it is important to familiarize yourself with the exam’s content and structure. You can do this by reading the CDA Candidate Handbook and taking practice tests. Additionally, there are a variety of resources available to help you prepare, including CDA exam prep courses, study guides, and online study tools.

5. What to Expect During the CDA Exam

The CDA exam is a multi-part exam that consists of a written test, an observation of your work with children, and a professional portfolio. The written test is a multiple-choice test that covers topics related to child development, observation and assessment, guidance and support, program planning, and professional development.

The observation portion of the exam is conducted by an assessor who will observe you in your work with children and provide feedback on your performance. This feedback will be used to help determine if you have met the standards for the CDA credential.

The professional portfolio is a compilation of evidence that demonstrates your knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and early education. This portfolio must include documentation, such as lesson plans, observation reports, and professional development activities, that demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

6. After you get your Child Development Associate Credential - the CDA Credential Renewal Requirements

Once you have been awarded the CDA credential, you will need to renew it every three years. To renew your CDA credential, you will need to submit evidence of the following: 

  • Proof of current membership in an early childhood professional organization.
  • 45 clock hours of training in Early Childhood Education and/or Child Development.
  • Minimum of 80 hours working with children in the setting of your original credential. 
  • Valid and current certification in First Aid and both Infant and Child (Pediatric) CPR.

7. Strategies for Successful CDA Exam Preparation

The CDA exam is an important part of the CDA credentialing process and it is important to take the time to prepare for it. To help ensure success on the exam, it is important to follow some key strategies.

First and foremost, it is important to read the CDA Candidate Handbook to familiarize yourself with the exam’s content and structure. Additionally, it is important to take practice tests to help you become familiar with the types of questions that will be asked on the exam.

It is also important to create a study plan and stick to it. This study plan should include a schedule of when you will study and what topics you will review. Additionally, it is important to take breaks and allow yourself time to relax and recharge.

Finally, it is important to seek out support from others who are preparing for the CDA exam. Connecting with other CDA candidates can help to motivate and inspire you as you prepare for the exam.

8. Resources for CDA Credential

There are a variety of resources available to help you prepare for the CDA exam. The Council for Professional Recognition provides a variety of resources, including the CDA Candidate Handbook, practice tests, study guides, and online study tools. Additionally, there are a variety of CDA exam prep courses available to help you prepare for the exam.

9. Tips for Making the Most of Your CDA Credential

Once you have been awarded the CDA credential, it is important to make the most of it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your CDA credential:

  • Utilize your CDA credential: Make sure to include your CDA credential in your resume and on job applications to stand out from other candidates.
  • Update your portfolio: Make sure to update your professional portfolio with new evidence that demonstrates your knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and early education.
  • Get involved: Connect with other CDA professionals and get involved in organizations related to early childhood education and care.
  • Pursue professional development: Take advantage of professional development opportunities to stay current on topics related to early childhood education and care.

In summary

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is a valuable and sought-after credential that can open the door to new opportunities in the field of early childhood. With a CDA credential, you can demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and development, and show employers and parents that you are knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of child development and early education.

To become CDA credentialed, you will need to apply for the CDA credential, complete the CDA assessment, and submit the assessment results to the Council for Professional Recognition. It is also important to take the time to prepare for the CDA exam by familiarizing yourself with the exam’s content and structure and taking practice tests.

Once you have been awarded the CDA credential, it is important to make the most of it by utilizing your CDA credential, updating your portfolio, getting involved in organizations related to early childhood education and care, and pursuing professional development opportunities.

Take our CDA training today and start your credentialing process. With the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, you can become a leader in the field of early childhood and open the door to new opportunities. Unlock the power of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential today!


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