Updated August 8, 2019
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in the field of early childhood education (ECE). The training equips instructors with the skills needed to succeed in the classroom, providing an important first step in a successful career as a child childhood educator.
To help teachers stay up to date with this credential, the Council for Professional Recognition is making the renewal process easier than ever through its CDA® Renewal Amnesty Program.
The Typical CDA Renewal Process
Upon initial completion, your CDA credential is valid for three years from the date it was awarded. After that time, you'll need to renew the credential, so it remains valid.
The purpose of CDA Renewal is to ensure that educators are well-versed in the latest and greatest developments in the field of ECE.
The renewal requirements, according to the Council for Professional Recognition, are as follows:
1. Continuing education
One of the main components of the renewal process is completing continuing education credits. This requirement can be met in three different ways:
4.5 continuing education credits
45 clock hours of child development or ECE training
3 credit hours from courses at an accredited college or university
Whichever method you choose to meet the continuing education requirement, remember that you must have documentation to prove completion. The Council will accept this proof in the form of a college or university transcript, training agency formal verification letter, or training verification form. See this infographic from the Council for more information.
All coursework must be finished after the date that your most recent CDA Credential was issued, and you can't repeat courses that you finished when applying for your initial credential or a previous renewal. Any coursework must be relevant and specific to the type of CDA credential you hold.
For renewal, you must have a recommendation from an ECE reviewer. This person is an ECE professional of your choice who has first-hand knowledge of your abilities working in the field of your original CDA credential in the last year.
The Council states that this person must also meet the requirements for education and experience laid out in the Information for the Early Childhood Education Reviewer booklet.
To renew your CDA certification, you also need proof of valid certification in First Aid, as well as both Infant and Child (Pediatric) CPR. The certification must be current when you apply for renewal.
Competing your CDA renewal online makes the process easier than ever.
Even if you don't work directly with children in your current role, you still need 80 hours of experience working with young students for certification renewal. These hours must be completed in the setting in which you were originally certified. They must also occur in the year directly leading up to your renewal application.
Your ECE reviewer must verify your hours as part of the recommendation.
5. Professional organization
In your renewal application, you are required to submit documentation that proves you currently belong to an early childhood professional organization. This can be either a center or individual membership, but it must be current when you send in your application.
The documentation should include the membership agency's name and logo or seal, your name or your center's name, and the timeframe for which the membership is valid. The Council states that this should come in the form of a certificate of membership, membership card, receipt of membership fee payment or letter on the organization's official letterhead.
To simplify the process for busy educators, the Council for Professional Recognition accepts renewal applications online. But regardless of whether you apply online or through the mail, your renewal application must be received by your current certification's expiration date.
CDA Renewal Amnesty Program
Usually, if your CDA Credential has expired, you must reapply for a new credential. But for a limited time, the Council is offering an amnesty program that makes renewal possible for those with expired certification.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the Council will be celebrating 45 years of the CDA®! To celebrate, the Council will offer a limited-time CDA® Renewal Amnesty Program. This program will allow anyone with a CDA® credential expiration date as far back as January 1, 2010, an opportunity to complete the renewal process and make their credential active again. To check the status of your renewal application, contact the Council for Professional Recognition's 24/7 automated self-service line at 202-265-9090.
Start the renewal process today
Ready to start your CDA renewal process? Consider enrolling in the CDA Renewal online courses through ProSolutions Training.
By completing your continuing education credits online, you can finish that aspect of your application at the time and location of your choice, and renew your CDA credential before it expires.