What is the process for obtaining a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential? - post

What is the process for obtaining a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential?

image in article What is the process for obtaining a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential?The process for obtaining a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential involves several steps. ChildCareEd has developed a number of free resources to support participants in each step of their journey of obtaining the CDA Credential. 

  • Determine Eligibility: Review the eligibility requirements set forth by the Council for Professional Recognition to ensure that you meet the qualifications for the CDA Credential.
  • Choose a CDA Setting: Decide on the CDA setting that aligns with your #career goals and experience level. The options include Infant-Toddler, Preschool, Family Child Care, or Home Visitor.
  • Complete Training: Enroll in and complete 120 clock hours of professional education and training specifically focused on the age group they are seeking their Credential.
    • Training Content: The training should cover a wide range of topics relevant to caring for and educating children. This includes:
      • 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 the principles of child development and learning
  • Gain Professional Experience: Accumulate 480 hours working with children in the age group corresponding to your chosen CDA setting. This experience should be gained within the past three years and should demonstrate your competence in providing quality care and education to young children.

  • Compile a Professional Portfolio: Create a professional portfolio that documents your education, training, and experience, as well as evidence of your competency in meeting the CDA credential requirements. Your portfolio should include examples of your work, reflections on your practice, and documentation of your interactions with children and families.

  • Submit an Application: Complete and submit an application for the CDA Credential through the Council for Professional Recognition's online system or by mail. Include all required documentation, such as transcripts, certificates of completion for training hours, and verification of professional experience.

  • Undergo Verification Visit: Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will be assigned a CDA Professional Development Specialist who will conduct a verification visit of your competency. This involves an observation of your work with children, a review of your portfolio, and an interview to discuss your knowledge and practices related to #early-childhood education.

  • CDA Exam: The CDA Exam has 65 multiple-choice questions – 60 questions and 5 scenario questions (with a short narrative and photo). The Candidate will have up to one hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam. Pearson VUE is the Council’s partner for delivering the CDA Exam at testing centers all over the country. The Council has partnered with Pearson VUE in order to create a more powerful professional development experience for CDA Candidates.
  • Receive Credential: If you successfully complete the assessment process and meet all requirements, you will be awarded the CDA Credential. This credential is valid for three years and can be renewed through the Council for Professional Recognition.

Throughout the process, it's essential to stay organized, meet deadlines, and seek support from mentors or advisors as needed. Additionally, be prepared to invest time and effort into reflecting on your practice and continuously improving your skills as an #early-childhood-education professional.


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