CDA Training

Child writing math problems on a chalkboard in front of other kidsCDA Training is Available Online!

What is a CDA credential?

The Child Development Associate (CDA) is a credential awarded by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition headquartered in Washington, DC. The CDA recognizes skills of early care givers and education professionals. It is designed for individuals who have work experience in child care settings. It is often considered to be a key entry-level credential in the field of early childhood.

The Council sets assessment procedures. Individuals need to follow these procedures and apply to the Council for assessment. An assessment fee is payable to the Council by the candidate for assessment.

The CDA credential is different from the associate degree and certificate in Early Childhood Education conferred by Kellogg Community College (KCC). KCC provides classes for academic credit which may be used toward the completion of CDA training requirements. These classes may be applied toward the completion of a certificate in early childhood education or Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.

The Benefits of 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

What are the CDA training requirements?

KCC offers classes meeting the CDA training requirements of a minimum of 120 clock hours of formal training in 8 specific content areas. These 120 clock hours are distributed over 8 different areas. The candidate must earn a minimum of 10 clock hours of training in each area.

Training must meet Council guidelines to apply toward completion of this requirement. The required content areas are:

  • Planning a safe, healthy learning environment
  • Steps to advance children’s physical and emotional development
  • Positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development
  • Strategies to establish productive relationships with families
  • Strategies to manage an effective program operation
  • Maintaining a commitment to professionalism
  • Observing and recording children’s behavior
  • Principles of child growth and development

Accelerated CDA Training

These courses are recommendations. Other early childhood courses may apply toward the completion of CDA training requirements. To extend your preparation for the CDA, it is recommended that CDA Candidates take ECE 224, Introduction to Early Childhood Education along with ECE 232, Infant and Toddler Care OR ECE 233, Early Childhood Environments depending on the CDA setting of your choice.

What Courses should I take?

Infant/toddler setting

(courses are worth three credits each)

  • ECE 209: Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 210: Child Growth and Development
  • ECE 215: Positive Child Guidance
  • ECE 232: Infant and Toddler Care

Optional course extension:

  • ECE 224: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 233: Early Childhood Environments

Preschool or licensed home childcare setting

(courses are worth three credits each)

  • ECE 209: Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 210: Child Growth and Development
  • ECE 215: Positive Child Guidance
  • ECE 233: Early Childhood Environments

Optional course extension:

  • ECE 224: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 232: Infant and Toddler Care

To qualify for program director requirements, CDA candidates may consider taking ECE 240, Child Care Administration.

  1. The Council determines what training will be accepted from each CDA candidate. KCC recommends coursework to the best of staff’s knowledge. It is up to the candidate to communicate with the Council in advance to assure that he or she is making the appropriate training decisions.
  2. The council makes changes to update CDA programming on a regular basis. CDA candidates are encourages to review council guidelines.

For more informaiton, please visit the ECE Catalog Page.

How do I begin?

Contact the KCC Early Childhood and Teacher Education Office at 269.965.3931, ext. 2109, to arrange an appointment with a program advisor. The advisor guides each student individually prior to registration.

Contact the Council for Early Childhood Recognition to request a direct assessment packet. The toll-free number is 800-424-4310.