Child Development Associate Credential

Child Development Associate Credential

Credits Available for credentials issued May 2012 through December 2019

  • Early Childhood Field Experience or Early Childhood Education Elective (3 credits, lower division level)
  • Introduction to Working with Young Children or CDA Preparation or Early Childhood Education Elective or The Infant and Toddler for those with the Infant Toddler Specialization (3 credits, lower division level)

Credits Available for credentials issued 1971 through May 2012

  • Early Childhood Field Experience or Early Childhood Elective Credit (3 credits, lower division level)
  • Introduction to Working with Young Children (3 credits, lower division level)

Issuing Agency

The Council for Professional Recognition; 2460 16th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009

About the Credential

The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) Program, Initiated in 1971, is a national effort to enhance the quality of childcare by defining, evaluating and encouraging the competence of child care providers and home visitors. Assessment and credentialing of childcare providers is administered by the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council). Assessment is available to caregivers working in several types of licensed settings: center-based programs serving infants and toddlers and preschool children; family childcare programs; and home visitor programs. A CDA Credential is awarded to a person who demonstrates competence in caring for young children by successfully completing the CDA assessment process.

Applying for the Credit 

Submit a Credential Credit Application to apply for the credit.

  • Charter Oak students: Log into the Acorn Student Portal and look in Student Self-Service / Student Forms.
  • Non-Charter Oak students: Contact the PLA Office to request a Credential Credit Application.

Course Descriptions

Early Childhood Field Experience (or Early Childhood Elective Credit) (3 credits, lower division level)
This course provides the student with practical experience in environments for young children, birth to age five. The experience affords the student the opportunity to become familiar with and demonstrate the principles and practices of early childhood. Hands-on instruction in working with children birth to age five.

Introduction to Working With Young Children (3 credits, lower division level)
This course exposes students to competencies required in the implementation of sound environments for young children, birth to age five. The course introduces content in the following areas: planning a safe and healthy learning environment, supporting development in physical, cognitive, language and social/ emotional areas; developing relationships with-in families; program management; professionalism; observation and recording information about children; and the principles of child development and learning. Hands-on instruction in working with children birth to age five.
OR
The Infant and Toddler (3 credits, lower division level)
A study of appropriate infant and toddler programs (birth to age 3), including an overview of development, quality care giving routines, appropriate environments, materials and activities, and teaching/guidance techniques. Participation in an early childhood setting is required.

NOTE: These credit recommendations are not equivalent to credit awarded for "Introduction to Early Childhood Education" or "Child Growth and Development" through Charter Oak Pathways exams. These recommendations are for students who did not earn their CDA credential through a credit-based program.