Child Development Associate Credential (CDA)

The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) is a nationally recognized entry level credential in the field of early childhood education. It is issued by the Council for Professional Recognition.

The CDA is designed for those individuals who are working with young children in all settings. The CDA will prepare you to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. The CDA is a mark of professionalism and gives assurance to parents and administrators that they have hired a competent individual to work with their children.

CDA Courses

Course Description

This course examines the cognitive development of typical and atypical young children as individuals and in group settings. Participants will discuss major theories and contemporary research findings of child cognitive development and learning and the mutual influence of biological, psychological and social factors within a given environment, including practical aspects of child rearing and family health.

CDA Competency Goals and Functional Areas

To advance physical and intellectual competence:

  • FA 4: Physical
  • FA 5: Cognitive
  • FA 6: Communication
  • FA 7: Creative

III. To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance:

  • FA 8: Self
  • FA 9: Social
  • FA 10: Guidance

Course Description

This course looks at the management, supervision, and leadership of early childhood programs within the framework of planning, implementing, and evaluating programs of various sponsorship and purpose. The course provides an overview of the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and administer an early care and education facility.

CDA Competency Goals and Functional Areas

IV. To establish positive and productive relationships with families:

  • FA 11: Families

V. To ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs:

  • FA 12: Program Management

VI. To maintain a commitment to professionalism

  • FA 13: Professionalism

Course Descriptions

This course focuses on developing programming to facilitate children’s development and learning. Program and activity planning to promote physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development through the observation and assessment of children’s development, interests and family and cultural context will be examined.

CDA Competency Goals and Functional Areas

 I. To establish and maintain a safe, healthy, learning environment:

  • FA 1: Safe
  • FA 2: Healthy
  • FA 3: Learning Environment


Mary Ellen Bardsley
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