Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

What is it?

Performance/competency-based credential, with the goal to demonstrate that you can effectively interact with children and teach them.
Most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. The CDA Credential is based on a core set of Competency Standards, which guide early care and learning professionals as they work toward becoming a qualified teacher of young children. These professionals have the knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standard into practice and the understanding of how the Standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another.

NECC is offering a free CDA Credential course starting in the Fall of 2018. Space is limited and priority will be given to those in the surrounding community and 68111 zip code. Classes begin September 25th and continue every Tuesday through December 18th of 2018 are from 6 PM to 8:30 PM. The final portion of the class will be on Saturday, January 12th and the time will be announced at a later date.

Visit our CDA Application Page to apply!

Steps: The How

Preparing for the CDA Credential

1. Professional Education

Candidates must complete a minimum of 120 clock hours of training/education with a minimum of 10 hours in the following eight subject areas:
1) Planning a safe and healthy learning environment
2) Advancing children’s physical and intellectual development
3) Supporting children’s social and emotional development
4) Building productive relationships with families
5) Managing an effective program
6) Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
7) Observing and recording children’s behavior
8) Understanding principles of child development and learning.

2. Work Experience

Candidate must work a minimum of 480 hours with children ages birth to 5 years, depending on the credential you are working towards.

3. Professional Portfolio

To include:
A. Reflective Statements of Competence for each of the following areas:
 To establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment.
 To advance physical and intellectual competence.
 To support social and emotional development and provide positive guidance.
 To establish positive and productive relationships with families.
 To ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs.
 To maintain a commitment to professionalism.
B. Family Questionnaires—families complete to provide you with feedback.
C. The Resource Collection—a collection of resources that guide your work with children and families.
D. Professional Philosophy Statement

4. Verification Visit

A Professional Development Specialist, who is an early childhood educator and has been trained by the Council for Professional Recognition, completes a classroom observation, reviews your Portfolio, interviews/reflects with you.

5. The CDA Exam

The exam consists of 65 multiple choice questions that are practical examples of early childhood best practices.

The Final Decision

Your CDA Exam scores, along with your Verification Visit Scores, submitted by your Professional Development specialist, will be combined by the Council into a final Cumulative Score which will determine your credential decision. The Cumulative Score takes into account your understanding of the six CDA Competency Stands and 13 Functional Ares and your ability to put them into practice.

So Why Should You Pursue Your CDA?

The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. The CDA credential easily leads into an Associate’s degree in early childhood education. You can go anywhere in the United States with your CDA credential and any ECE program will recognize your level of education and in most case you will be eligible for a higher wage.

With the Fall 2018 course beginning soon, be sure to visit our CDA Application Page to learn more about our course and to submit your application!