The Child Development Associate Credential

Student support 7 days a week, including holidays!

The CDA Credential is a National Credential, that is awarded by the Council of Professional Recognition.  
Answers to common questions:
     *   The CDA Credential is the same regardless of which state that you live in.
     *   The CDA Credential Process is the same regardless of how or where you complete the 120 hours of CDA training.
     *   The application fee that is paid to the Council of Professional recognition is completely separate from the tuition for CDA training. CDA Training is done through a training organization, college, or vocational school. The CDA Application fee is paid to the Council of Professional Recognition in Washington DC.
Our CDA training program meets the educational requirements to apply for a National Child Development Associate Credential (CDA).

In order to qualify to apply for a CDA Credential, the CDA Candidate must have the following:
A minimum of a high school diploma/ GED or be currently enrolled in a high school career / technical program
480 hours of experience - the Candidate must have obtained 480 hours of experience working with young children in the appropriate setting in the last three years
 120-hours of education in 8 CDA subject areas  (CDA Training)

The tuition to enroll in the CDA training program is $399.
The CDA Training includes the 120 hours of training required to apply for a CDA Credential.

Payment plan option available.
The tuition for the payment plan option is based on a per module fee. There are no due dates for each payment. When you pay for the courses in Module 1: Safe and Healthy Environment, you will receive access to those child care courses. Once you have completed those courses, then process payment for module 2 and we will activate the next set of child care classes in your student platform.

480 hours of Work Experience
You will be required to have 480 hours of work experience by the time that you are ready to submit the CDA Application to the Council of Professional Recognition. You may be achieving this work experience while completing the training. If you were to work 20 hours per week, it would take you 6 months to have 480 hours of work experience. You could expect that the process of completing the training, gaining the experience, and obtaining the CDA may take about one year. You cannot apply for the CDA Credential if you do not have the 480 hours of experience.

CDA 2.0 Credential Process:
Enroll in the CDA training Program - There are no text books to purchase. All training materials are online.
Order your CDA Application packet from the CDA Council (the application packet is approximately $25 + shipping).
Complete the 120 hours of CDA training
Prepare the CDA Professional Portfolio.
Collect parent questionnaires from the families in your care (instructions and questionnaires are provided in the CDA Application packet).
Mail the completed CDA Application to the CDA Council of Professional Recognition along with the application fee of $425. Make sure to mail it with delivery confirmation or tracking. The Council of Professional Recognition now accepts CDA Applications on a rolling basis.
Verification Visit conducted by CDA Professional Development Specialist (chosen by Candidate).
          a. Review of Professional Portfolio
          b. Training transcripts and certificates
          c. Observation
          d. Reflective dialogue
Candidate takes CDA Exam at a local PearsonVUE testing center
Professional Development Specialist sends Verification Visit scores to the Council online
PearsonVUE sends exam scores to the Council online
Council awards or denies Credential
A CDA Credential is valid for three years from the award date


Below is the CDA 2.0 video produced by the CDA Council of Professional Recognition.  

  • CDA Exam Tutorial: How to complete the CDA Exam on a Computer