Child Development Associate (CDA) Training Certificate

Woman teaching and playing with children

This training certificate is for those already working in the Early Childhood field, without a degree, seeking to grow their skill set and prepare for the CDA Credential exam.

The Child Development Associate (CDA-T) Training Certificate Program provides students with the 120 hours of education required to apply for the CDA Credential. At the completion of three courses, students earn nine college credits and are eligible to apply for the CDA Credential.

Course discussions and assignments support each student in understanding the history of early childhood and the evolution of the field, the basics of developmentally appropriate practices, how to keep children safe and healthy in the childcare setting, and child development. In addition to completing the 120 hours of credits, students will prepare their CDA Portfolio as part of the program.

Due to the requirement for students to complete 480 field experience hours to apply for the CDA Credential, this certificate is for those working in the early childhood field only. A high school diploma or equivalent is required, and all credits must be taken at Charter Oak State College. Upon completion of the training, candidates are prepared to apply to the CDA Council for the CDA Verification visit and exam.

The CDA Training Certificate provides education and training for the CDA. As a result, transfer credits are not accepted into the program. CDA students will start to work on their professional portfolio in the first course and will complete the required portfolio as part of the program. Students who have earned credit for courses that we offer for CDA Training are welcomed to transfer these credits for enrollment into an degree program.

The CDA certificate is not financial aid eligible. However, CT residents may qualify for OEC funding and NY residents may qualify for EIP funding. Please work with your center director to determine your potential to receive financial assistance.

Applicants are accepted for Fall Term 1 and Spring Term 1. 

The following courses are taken in this order:

  • ECE 101: Intro to Early Childhood Education3 credits
  • ECE 176: Health, Safety and Nutrition3 credits
  • ECE 247: Child Development Birth-Age 83 credits
  • Total9 credits

Outcomes & Pathways

Students who complete the Certificate in Child Development Associate (CDA) Training will:

  • understand the Professional Standards and Competencies required for professionals working in the early childhood field, as well as levels of progression for advancement in the field;
  • understand the developmental period of early childhood from birth-age 8 across various domains of development (physical, social, cognitive, linguistic);
  • know and apply principles of health, safety, and nutrition to ensure children are safe and well cared for each day;
  • know and apply basic principles of developmentally appropriate practices while working under the direction of a more qualified teaching professional;
  • complete 120 hours of training to earn the CDA Credential; and
  • complete 480 field experience hours.
Credits towards this Certificate may be granted through training that has been approved through the Charter Oak State College Prior Learning Assessment Program.

Why Charter Oak State College?