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Pathway to CDA


The mission of the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program is to enhance to quality of early care and education for young children by establishing standards which define, evaluate and recognize the competence of early childhood teachers.

The CDA is a person who is able to meet the specific needs of children and who, with parents and other adults, works to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. The CDA Credential is awarded to child care providers who have demonstrated their skill in working with young children and their families by successfully completing the CDA assessment process. To date, there are more than 100,000 CDA's across the country - in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands.

The "Pathway to CDA [PDF]" may be expanded into Certificates of Completion and Associate in Applied Sciences Degrees. Your CDA Credential combined with your Associates Degree in Child Care Administration will enhance your career as an early childhood professional. The combination of the CDA and Associates Degree is recognized as a strong base of knowledge and qualification for leadership positions in early childhood classrooms and programs.