CDA Classes

As with most professions’ requirement of educational attainment, i.e. degrees and certifications, early childhood education (ECE) offers the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. The CDA Credential is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.


The CDA Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council for Professional Recognition works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.


Teachers who earn the CDA Credential use their knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice with an understanding of why those standards help children move from one developmental stage to another successfully. This is the foundation for nurturing the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.


Earning the CDA Credential is a big commitment, but one that creates confident practitioners with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children.

The benefits of The Child Development Associate (CDA) CredentialTM include:

  • Career advancement
  • Job requirements
  • Commitment to early childhood education
  • Parent confidence and peace of mind
  • Understanding of developmentally appropriate practices
  • Increased professionalism and confidence

The process for obtaining a CDA includes completion of:

  • 120 clock hours of formal training in specific areas
  • Portfolio
  • Family questionnaires
  • Verification visit
  • Online exam

Get started on your CDA Credential

The CDA Coach at ECA manages the cohorts of early childhood educators for multiple counties in northern Indiana. In that role she provides support and technical assistance to individuals in earning their CDA Credential and other preparatory classes to ensure full preparatory education for entry level educators. The Coach maintains frequent contact with: Higher Ed, ECA staff and other early education programs, community partners, T.E.A.C.H. and the Council of CDA, early care and education providers, administrators, and community agencies. Thanks to community support, ECA is able to offer the CDA classes and support at low or no cost to students.