The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, administered by the Council for Professional Recognition, is a nationally recognized credential in the field of early childhood education. The CDA Credential is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement for early educators and must be renewed every three years.
Benefits of Earning a CDA Credential
- Advance your career.
- Meet job requirements.
- Reinforce your commitment to early childhood education.
- Provide parents with peace of mind.
- Understand developmentally appropriate practice.
- Increase your confidence.
CDA Credential Settings
Candidates can earn the CDA Credential in four different early childhood education settings:
- Pre-K (center-based)
- Infant/Toddler (center-based)
- Family Child Care (home-based)
- Home Visitor
Am I Eligible to Earn a CDA Credential?
To be eligible to apply for a CDA, early childhood professionals must:
- Have a high school diploma or GED, or be a high school junior or senior enrolled in an early education/child development vocational program.
- Volunteer or work in a licensed/regulated child care program.
What Are the Costs for a CDA Credential?
The costs related to obtaining a CDA Credential include:
- Training and/or education fees needed to achieve the 120 clock hours of professional education covering the eight CDA Subject Areas.
- $25, plus shipping and handling, to purchase a CDA Competency Standards Book.
- $425 for the initial CDA Credential application fee.
- $150 to renew your CDA Credential after three years (or if applying online, the fee is $125).
What Supports Are Available to Me?
If you operate or work in a licensed early childhood education program and are a member of the Alaska SEED Registry, you may be eligible for a CDA Application/Renewal Award to pay for the CDA application and renewal fees. A Professional Development Reimbursement (PDR) can help you pay for training, and a Travel Reimbursement (TR) can help you with travel costs to obtain training.
thread, which houses and manages Alaska SEED, can also help you obtain a CDA Credential by:
- Advising you on the CDA process, eligibility, and requirements.
- Reviewing your training/education transcript to determine which credits will be accepted by the Council for Professional Recognition, and providing advisement to ensure the requirements for formal child care education are met.
- Providing training accepted by the Council for Professional Recognition.
- Conducting Verification Visits as part of the assessment process.
Contact thread at 907.265.3100 or [email protected].
To learn more about the CDA Credential, visit the Council for Professional Recognition's website.