Beginning on June 1, 2013, big changes will take place in the CDA process. There will no longer be CDA Advisors or Council Representatives. The exam will revised and taken at a Pearson VUE Testing Site and candidates will be meeting with a CDA Professional Development Specialist. There will be a new resource collection, with Reflective Statements of Competence that relate to what has been collected. You will also be composing a Professional Philosophy Statement. These items will be placed into your Professional Portfolio.
These changes may, at first, seem overwhelming and more confusing than before. This is not necessarily the case. The new process is a definite improvement in the way early childhood professionals are assessed and prepared for the workplace. CDA continues to be the best first step in reaching educational and career goals, as well as creating a postive mindset for lifelong learning.
The main thing to remember is that you are not alone in navigating the new CDA 2.0. We will continue to provide step-by-step helpful support now and throughout the transition to the new process.
The Council for Professional Recognition now has the new Competency Standards books available on their website. These replace the "application packets" of the old process. If you will be applying for your CDA after May 31, you will want to order one of these for your particular setting: Center-based Infant/Toddler or Center-based Preschool, or Family Child Care. The Spanish versions of these books will be available in June.
The new CDA 2.0 Prep Binder for the Professional Portfolio.
This new binder includes...
- Labeled sections and page protectors for the updated
Resource Collection and Reflective Statements of
- 16 fresh, new cover designs from which to choose!
The new Online Professional Portfolio for CDA by SchoolChapters ™
This option includes...
- An easy, streamlined way to keep track of and organize your CDA documentation.
- Your portfolio is entirely online, but can be downloaded
- Helpful tutorials, email support, and a 1-800 number that
is available 24/7 for any questions you might have about
using the platform.
- Recording pages to keep track of your training hours.
- Handy folder for storing all of your training
certificates and other proof of training in one place.
- Checklist for the Resource Collection, with hints for
finding what you need.
- Planning pages for composing the Reflective
Statements of Competence.
- Worksheet with prompts and help for developing your
own Professional Philosophy Statement.
- A guide for conducting a Self-Study of your practices
and child care setting, prior to being observed by the
CDA Professional Development Specialist.
- Worksheets with help to prepare for the Self-
Reflection at the Verification Visit (Areas of
Professional Strength and Areas for Future Growth).
- Pages for recording your CDA Professional
Development Specialist's contact information, the
location of the nearest Pearson VUE testing site,
and the dates/times of your exam and Verification
- Pages for keeping track of when to renew your CDA,
and for setting educational and professional goals,
with strategies for implementing them.
"When I got my CDA book from the Council, I was pretty overwhelmed. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help!" Martha H., Indianapolis, IN
"I received my materials from the Council and just left it on the desk for two months. It all just seemed like too much. I didn't know where to start. Then, I found your website and got some direction! Thanks!" Sarah L., Chicago, IL
"My director said I needed a CDA, but she really didn't know that much about it and couldn't offer any help. I'm really glad my co-teacher came across your site!" Marsha P., Beacon Falls, CT
"I'm a home day care provider and I was trying to do this without any help. I was very confused about how my Resource File was supposed to look and how I was supposed to go about writing the Competency Goals. I honestly almost gave up. Your patience, materials, and phone calls helped me hang in there! Thanks again." Janet M., Chase, MI
"I wasn't sure I could do this, but I did! My CDA arrived in the mail today! Thanks so much!" Dianne E., Toledo, OH
If help and support is to be useful, it needs to address the specific setting and age group the Candidate is working with. There should be suggestions for all steps in the CDA process, so the Candidate can feel confident and prepared going into the Verification Visit.
Ready to Start Working on your Professional Portfolio? Check out the CDA Prep Binder... It'll make your life easier!
The CDA (Child Development Credential) is a competency-based, nationally-recognized credential awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, DC. The Council was originally formed as a separate entity of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), but responsibility was taken over completely by the Council in 1985. The process has recently been updated for the first time in over 20 years.
The CDA is an entry-level credential which is required in most states for family child care licensing and to be a lead teacher or a director in center-based programs.
The CDA process requires 120 clock hours of training, a collection of documentation, observation at the workplace, an exam geared to your particular setting, and participation in a Verification Visit with a Professional Development Specialist.
Since 1975, over 300,000 care providers have earned a CDA credential, with more than 20,000 applying each year.
Why Would Candidates Need Help?
A person needs to be working with young children in order to go through the CDA process. This is because he or she will be observed working with young children.
Before embarking on the CDA journey, the Candidate will acquire at least 120 clock hours of training and purchase a CDA Competency Standards book from the Council. It contains the materials needed to prepare and apply for a CDA. This can be requested by calling the Council directly at 1-800-424-4310 or ordering on the Council's website. You will need to specify the setting in which you work.
Many times, these materials are vague and confusing to Candidates and don't give enough specific information for them to feel confident about putting together the Professional Portfolio, writing the Statements of Competence, or preparing for the Verification Visit. This is often troublesome if the Candidate is working on her own or if she is the first to earn a CDA Credential at her workplace and is especially true since the entire CDA process has been recently changed!
CDA Professional Portfolio Binders... pre-loaded and ready to use! See the CDA Prep Binder page of this website to find out about this helpful and time-saving resource!
Please Be Advised...
Don't confuse us with copycats! This is the original website of its kind, providing help since 1998.
Have a Question?
Visit my CDA Help BLOG and ask!
Or, visit the Contact Me page!
Copyright 2013. Debra Pierce. All rights reserved.
The CDA Prep Guide and any other items available on this website are not
endorsed or produced in conjunction with the Council for Professional Recognition.