Child Development Associate (CDA)

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Earn Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate in 12 weeks

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path to career advancement in ECE. CDA is a National Credentialing Program that focuses on the skills of early care and educating professionals who work with young children. CDA meets the requirements of childcare staff, home visitors, and family child care providers.

Class Schedule

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 to Thursday, January 24, 2019

  • Tuesday and Thursdays, 4:00 to 7:00pm at 300 King Street, Pottstown
  • Hybrid Classes – Every other class face-to-face at 300 King Street and alternate classes online (Students without internet access provided opportunities to access online classes)
  • Internships opportunities available

Child Development Associate Credential Class (Cost $479)

  • $400 for CDA Credential class
  • $50 for required CPR/First Aid/AED Training
  • $29 for Books and Materials
  • First payment of $250 due by first day of class

Please include the reimbursement policy on the application as well as the flyer.

Reimbursement Policy:

• Before 1st class – 100%
• Before 2nd class – 50%
• Before 3rd class – 25%
• After 3rd class – no refunds

Note: Hybrids are considered a class. $50 for CPR/First Aid/AED training is non-refundable

The cost for the CDA national certification is separate. Funding for the certification test may be available IF the student qualifies and funding is available.

CDA Application

Child Development Associate (CDA) is an amazing opportunity

Earning a Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential is “an amazing opportunity” for people working in early childhood education, according to Kathleen Seeley, senior director of early education at YWCA Tri-County Area in Pottstown.

“This course truly is an added bonus for early childhood teachers,” Seeley said. “According to PA Child Care Licensing, a CDA is equivalent to 9 credit hours from an accredited college or university in early childhood education or child development and 1 year of experience with children.”

The CDA credential is a nationally recognized credential for early education teachers, and a key stepping stone in career advancement. Teachers in many early childhood centers are required to earn a CDA. In Pennsylvania, the Keystone STARS system for early childhood education rates facilities from 1 to 4 stars; each level requires a specific percentage of teachers carry the CDA credential. A STARS 4 facility – YWCA Tri-County Area is one – must have all teachers earning a CDA in order to maintain that top rating.

The credential makes a candidate for employment “the best candidate,” and is likely to translate into a higher starting wage, Seeley added.

People working in the early education field who are not classroom teachers may also be interested in earning a CDA, Seeley said, because they will gain a better understanding of early childhood development, helping them perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

The CDA course gives early education teachers a fundamental understanding of best practices in early childhood education, Seeley said, and gives them an idea of what a good quality curriculum will ask of them as teachers. The course divides students into two tracks – infant/toddler and preschool.

“Teachers will learn what to expect from children in each age group,” she said. “They’ll learn about the developmental activities in the classroom that are appropriate at each age group. They’ll learn about interacting with families, and about assessing a child’s learning and development.”

Part of the CDA course requires each student to volunteer in a classroom, working alongside an experienced teacher. That mentoring relationship gives CDA candidates additional insight into child behavior and learning, and classroom dynamics.

Another bonus to achieving a CDA, Seeley said, is that the credential qualifies teachers for a state stipend for their classrooms. CDA-qualified teachers in a STARS 2 facility, for instance, would be eligible to apply for the stipend.