A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential by the Council for Professional Recognition, a national association that supports professional development in early education and care.

Child Development Associates (CDAs) are trained to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. A CDA performs according to the CDA Competency Goals in center-based, home visitor or family child care programs.

To earn a CDA, applicants must demonstrate their competency in supporting the healthy growth and development of children in center-based care, family child care, or home visiting programs.

The Department of Early Education & Care (EEC) accepts a CDA as equivalent to 12 credits - which, with 27 months of work experience, qualifies an applicant as a Lead Teacher.

Please contact the Council for Professional Recognition if you are interested in applying for your CDA or would like more information regarding the credential.

Find professional development opportunities to complete the necessary formal education hours associated with the CDA Credential.


Information provided by the Department of Early Education and Care .