Child Development Associate Training – Center-Based
Childcare development specialists play crucial roles in the education and development
of many children. They are responsible to provide safe, nurturing environments, help
children learn cognitive, emotional and physical skills and grow during their most
About This Program
Providing a safe, healthy environment is among the highest priorities for excellent
childcare. The CDA prepares you specifically to work within the structure of a childcare center.
This certificate program course includes the procedures and materials required to
prepare for a CDA-required site visit.
Become A Child Development Associate (CDA)
This 100% online course prepares you for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) certification
process via the Council for Professional Recognition.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be ready to earn your early childhood
The CDA is considered the most widely known and valued credential for early childhood
development professionals. It provides a rigorous and proven framework for a child's
personal, intellectual and social growth.
Child Development Associate (CDA) Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Qs)
Q: Does this course prepare me for a certification? A: Yes. You will be prepared for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) certification
and credentialing process for two of the four available pathways. This course will
prepare you for the Infant-Toddler and Preschool pathways of the CDA certification.
The Infant-Toddler and Preschool pathways will prepare you to work as an educator
in a childcare center.
The education hours earned can be applied toward both pathways. However, you will
need to prepare a different Professional Portfolio and have a separate CDA Verification
Visit for each age group to be certified in both pathways. For more information on
the CDA requirements and to learn more about the four available pathways, please visit
Q: Is the CDA certification important for a child development professional? A: Education professionals are responsible to regulators, parents and the public for
the quality and safety of the environments they create. The CDA signals to potential
employers and the education community that you are a professional dedicated to the
highest standards in child development.
Evaluate and make recommendations for modifications of regulations regarding children's
health, safety, and learning environments
Identify typical stages of cognitive, linguistic, physical, social, and emotional
Develop a list of developmentally appropriate activities and materials that encourage
physical, linguistic, cognitive, creative, social, and emotional development in children
from birth to age five
Implement appropriate guidance techniques for specific situations relating to children's
Demonstrate skills in practical application of developmental principles and theories,
observation techniques, and recognition of growth and development patterns
Apply the competency statements into practice in an early childhood setting
Prepare to become a certified child development associate professional
There are no prerequisites to take this course. This course is 100% online.This course is open enrollment. You can enroll and begin at any time.
To be eligible for the CDA certification:
You must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, or be a junior or senior
in a high school career and technical program, and
Complete 120 hours of formal early childhood technical education (this course meets
Complete a CDA professional portfolio (this course assists with portfolio preparation)
Complete a CDA verification site visit where a PD Specialist observes you working
Please Note: Within three years of submitting your application, you must also have
480 hours (about three weeks) of professional work experience at a center-based program
with experience in all three age groups.
For more information on the CDA requirements, please visit the CDA Council website.
How to Take This Course
Why Earn a Child Development Certification?
The Portfolio Introduction
Principles of Child Development and Learning
Planning a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
Advancing Children's Physical and Intellectual Development
Supporting Children's Social and Emotional Development
Building Productive Relationships with Families
Managing an Effective Program
Observing and Recording Children's Behavior
Achieving High-Quality Care
Final Portfolio Review
CDA Prep and Taking Your Exam
Kerri Welch has over 20 years of extensive experience in the field of early childhood
education. More specifically, with the CDA credential, she previously served as an
instructor and field supervisor at Dutchess Community College in New York and as a
PD Specialist for the CDA Council. She is currently teaching child development classes
at Houston Community College.
Kerri has successfully trained a diverse population of students by helping them advance
in their careers in early childhood development through implementing a child-centered,
developmentally appropriate curriculum that uses positive guidance techniques. She
has a Master of Science in early childhood education with a focus on students with
disabilities, a bachelor's degree in elementary education, and an associate degree
in early childhood education.
Kerri is on the advisory board of Informed Green Solutions, a national non-profit
that has pioneered environmental education on green cleaning products for early childhood
programs. She is extremely passionate about children's health, nutrition, and safety,
especially regarding children with special needs.
Take Your Education and Career to the Next Level!
Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
668 Robert and Trudie Perkins Way
Tallahassee, FL 32310