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What is the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential?
Early childhood education is a rewarding field. Through your position, you're helping to shape the next generation of learners. It's a career that provides personal fulfillment as well as opportunities for growth and development as both an educator and leader. But ECE positions also require training and certification to ensure that you're properly equipped to meet the challenges of these roles.
If you're pursuing a career in early childhood education, completing a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential should be one of your first steps.
What is the CDA credential?
The CDA credential, according to the Council for Professional Recognition, is based on six core competency goals:
To establish and maintain a safe, health learning environment
To advance physical and intellectual competence
To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance
To establish positive and productive relationships with families
To ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs
To maintain a commitment to professionalism
It is the most widely recognized credential in the field and is generally recommended as the best first step for professionals who wish to advance in early childhood education.
To earn your CDA, you will need to complete 120 hours of professional education covering the eight CDA Subject Areas, as well as 480 hours of applicable workplace experience. You will also need to complete the assessment process with the Council.
The benefits of a CDA credential
While earning your CDA credential is a significant time investment, there are numerous benefits that you receive through the process. Earning your CDA credential shows both potential employers and the parents of your students that you are equipped to provide proper care and guidance in ECE. This certification can also increase your own confidence in your abilities. By completing the required course hours, you will likely feel more prepared to face the challenges that arise in child care.
A CDA can additionally help you to advance in the workplace. A credential shows your employer that you are capable of taking on more responsibility. It can also set you apart from the competition when applying for a position or promotion.
Pursuing a CDA doesn't mean that you need to take time off from work. You can complete the credential while working in the field by taking your courses online. This option allows you to do the work at the time and place of your choosing, which offers you the ability to tailor your schedule around your existing commitments.
To learn more about completing the formal early childhood education coursework for your CDA online, contact ProSolutions Training today.