Whether you're earning your CDA® credential for the first time or working on your CDA renewal, one of the requirements of the program is creating a CDA® professional portfolio. The Council for Professional Recognition reviews this CDA® portfolio to evaluate your knowledge, skills, and educational philosophy to determine if you demonstrate the competence to work with children and their families professionally. To get help creating a CDA® portfolio, check out the following tips and ideas.
The Contents of a CDA® Professional Portfolio
Your CDA® portfolio should not only mirror your unique skills and attributes, but it also needs to be set up in a consistent way. Here are the elements you should include:
A summary of your official training, including the list of CDA Training courses you took and their subject areas (our CDA Training program lays this all out for you)
Completed questionnaires from the families you've worked with
Short written statements explaining your teaching practices in relation to the six CDA® standards
Early childhood resources
A description of your educational philosophy that includes elements related to how children can learn and your role in that process
How to Organize Your CDA® Professional Portfolio
All of those elements may sound challenging to organize, but with the right approach, you can ensure everything is presented clearly and professionally.
You may want to start with a three-ring binder. Then, use sleeve-protectors to hold any documents you want to present, and use dividers to split up and label each of your sections. For instance, you might have a divider at the beginning of a section labeled “Statements of Competence.” Then, each statement could have its own clear sleeve. To make the binder easy for the council members to page through, you should attach a tab to each divider.
Alternatively, you can use a file box. Again, put your materials in sleeves or hanging file folders, and use dividers with tabs to organize and label the different sections of your professional CDA® portfolio.
Writing About Competency Standards
Whether you plan to work in family care, preschool, or an infant and toddler setting, a big part of your professional CDA® portfolio is writing about your competency standards. These six areas include the following:
1. Providing a safe and healthy environment
2. Advancing the physical, cognitive, communicative, and creative sides of your students
3. Supporting their social and emotional development in positive ways
4. Fostering productive relationships with the families of your students
5. Managing your program in a way that meets your students’ needs
6. Staying committed to professionalism
Ideally, in each of these statements, you need to describe why the area is important and how you plan to provide these essential elements to your students.
Courses to Help You Develop Your CDA® Professional Portfolio
If you want to ensure that you create an effective and professional CDA® portfolio, you should consider ProSolutions Training's 120 hour CDA Training. This training includes courses like Creating a Dynamite Professional Portfolio! There are other courses included in the CDA Training that will not only help you complete your professional development training hours, but also help you through the process.
Professionalism in Early Care and Education
Your Journey to the CDA Credential: Let's Get Started
Seeking Employment in Early Care and Education
Dealing with Personal Stress
Each of these courses covers the introductory skills you will need to take your educational training and turn that into a professional portfolio.
Ready to start CDA Training?
If you are ready to get started on the first step towards your CDA® credential, purchase ProSolutions Training's 120 hour CDA Training. We include all the professional development courses you need in an easy-to-understand format. All courses are divided by subject area. Since the courses are online, you can take as many hours as you want all at once. Or, you can take your time and work on your training for 1 or 2 hours each day. It's up to you.