- Child Development Associate
Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is awarded in the United States to those who have completed a list of requirements, including 120 hours of training, set forth by the Council for Professional Recognition, and who have successfully passed the verification visit to work with Infants/Toddlers or Preschoolers. There are several settings toward which a CDA can be awarded: Center-based Infant/Toddler, Center-based Preschool, Family Child Care, Bi-lingual, and Home Visitor. This is now an entry-level credential for early care and education providers.
CDAs must be able to work with parents and children, and be competent in 17 Functional Areas, as outlined by the Council for Professional Recognition. The CDA is a national credential and has been accepted in all 50 of the United States, and the U.S. Territories. The required training can be completed at in-person classes or online. On the Council's website, as listed below, there is a listing of training agencies throughout the United States that offer CDA training. This list is more reliable than those training venues retrieved from doing a search because, many times, they are not legitimate (the training hours are not accepted by the Council, for example). Also, because quality standards are continually being raised for early care and education, caregivers are being required to have an associate degree, even for an entry-level position, in many states. It is suggested, then, that candidates acquire the 120 clock hours of training in the form of college credits, so that they can use the credits to continue their education down the road, if they need to earn a degree. Not all of the training venues offer college credit for the training hours that are provided and candidates should be sure to verify this before spending any money.
Many states participate in the T.E.A.C.H scholarship program that will pay for a good portion of the training toward a CDA, the candidates textbooks, and the application fee for the CDA, which is currently $325. It is well worth it to check this out. In some states, the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program is also funding associate and bachelor degrees.
In the state of California the (CDE) California Department of Education issues child development permits. The permits are based on education and experience. There are six levels of permits: Assistant Teacher, Associate Teacher, Teacher, Master Teacher, Site Supervisor and Program Director.
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