Volume 3, Issue 4
In This Issue
What is the CDA Credential?
Determine Your Eligibility and Choose a CDA Program
Completing the CDA Assessment Process
26-Hour College Credit Eligible CDA
Dates to Remember
Welcome to the ChildCare Education Institute April Newsletter. 
This month's topic: Your Complete Guide to the CDA.

Understanding the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and navigating the credentialing process can be complex and overwhelming.  CCEI's Complete Guide to The CDA will eliminate your frustrations and give you a step by step guide to obtaining the credential.  We'll answer the questions you have about the CDA, help you determine if you are eligible to pursue your CDA, and outline the process for obtaining your credential.  Click on the links to the Council for Professional Recognition's website throughout the guide, for complete details. 

What is the CDA Credential?
The CDA Credential is awarded to individuals who meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework.  The credential is awarded after successfully completing the CDA Assessment Process as defined by the Council for Professional Recognition.

Who is the Council of Professional Recognition?
Founded in 1985, the Council for Professional Recognition is a nonprofit organization located in Washington, DC. The Council promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in early childhood care and education - the people who work with children from birth through five years of age in early childhood centers, family child care homes, and as home visitors.  The Council sets the policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the Competency Standards and other material used for CDA credentialing, and administers the assessment.

Why get a CDA?
Earning the CDA Credential has many advantages, including motivating caregivers toward continuing education and providing a platform for professional and career opportunities. Many view the CDA Credential as an instrument for career advancement in the early childhood care and education profession. The Council works to ensure that the CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of a coordinated system of professional development.

Am I Eligible to Pursue a CDA Credential?
  Before you can pursue your CDA Credential,
  you must determine your eligibility
  Candidates must meet the following

      Be 18 years of age or older
      Hold a high school diploma or GED
      Have 480 hours of experience working 
       with children within the past five years
      Have 120 clock hours of formal child care
       education within the past five years

How do I choose a high quality CDA Program?

Choosing the program that best fits your needs as a student is vital to your education experience and your success when pursuing a CDA Credential. 
CDA Programs provide you the coursework to meet the 120 clock hours of formal child care education.  Completing the 120 hours does not mean you have earned your CDA Credential.  It simply meets the Council of Professional Recognition's Training Requirement

Research different programs, determine what characteristics are most important to you, and ask a lot of questions before you commit to a program.  Below are some questions you should consider when researching programs.
  Is an admissions representative available to help you and answer questions during the 
   enrollment process?
  Does the company provide direction by qualified faculty educated in and who have
   management experience in Early Childhood Education?
  Does the faculty respond to student inquires and grade assignments within 48 hours?
  By what means can you, the student, communicate with faculty?
  Is faculty available to assist students during the CDA application process after completing the
   training requirements?
  Does the coursework cover at least 10 hours of training in each of the identified CDA
   Competency Areas and meet the 120 hours training requirement?
  If the program is delivered online, can coursework be accessed without downloading additional
  Does coursework include preparation of Competency Statements, Parent Questionnaires and
   the Professional Portfolio required for submission during the CDA Application process?
  Will you receive a transcript and certificate upon completion of the training requirements?
  If the program is online, does the company offer technical assistance?
  Does the company have a proven track record of students who have successfully completed
   the training requirements?
I decided to pursue my CDA and I have completed my 120 hour training requirement.  What do I do now?
Once you have met the eligibility requirements outlined above, you must be working in an eligible child care setting (center-based, family child care, and home visitor) where the Council for Professional Recognition can observe you.  You will purchase your application based on the type of setting you are working in.  Preparing the application requires you to create your Professional Resource File, collect Parent Opinion Questionnaires from parents in your center, and have an advisor complete the CDA Assessment Observation Instrument.

After completing these three requirements, you and your advisor will sign your application and submit it to the Council with the $325 assessment fee.  This begins the CDA Assessment Process and you will be assigned a Council Representative to conduct your Verification Visit.  At your verification visit, your assigned Council Representative will administer the Early Childhood Studies Review and conduct an oral interview.

The Council representative submits any remaining materials to the Council committee for final review of the candidate's documentation.  If a Credential is awarded, the official documentation is sent to the new Child Development Associate.  If the credential is not awarded, the Council notifies the students and informs them of appeal procedures and other options.

Child Development Associate Certificate
Meet the Council's requirement of 120 hours of formal child care training with CCEI!
  CCEI is pleased to offer the College Credit Eligible CDA.  Students successfully completing all required coursework in the CCEI College Credit Eligible CDA will not only meet the coursework requirement for the CDA, but will also be eligible to receive up to 26 quarter-hour credits from Kendall College.  Additionally, the program has the support of an Education Coach.  The Education Coach is an experienced child care professional available to assist you with coursework and preparing for the credential application. CCEI also offers a non college credit Instructor Supported CDA and an Online Self Study CDA.  With all programs, you work independently and at your convenience, with access to courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Director's Certificate
CCEI provides a specialized professional development certificate for the child care director. The Director's Certificate
coursework concentrates on core competencies that facilitate the management of your child care center.  CCEI also offers a Director's Certificate Renewal, a Texas Director's Certificate, and a Texas Director's Certificate Renewal.

Head Start Parenting Certificate
The Head Start Parenting Certificate is designed to provide parents the opportunity to enhance their parenting skills by understanding the developmental and educational needs of their children.

If it's been a while since you earned your CDA, you may want to start thinking about renewal.  Stay up-to date by completing your CDA Renewal before your credential expires. The 45 hours of coursework can be completed online with the CCEI Online CDA Renewal!

The flexibility of CCEI's Online CDA Renewal Program allows you to access your courses from any computer with Internet access.  Take courses from home, work, or the library.  The convenience of distance learning allows you to maintain your busy, work, personal, and social schedules.   Access to courses is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The program is instructor supported, giving you access to support at just a phone call away.  CCEI faculty and help desk are designed to help you every stop of the way.

Renew your CDA for $399!  Registration is just a phone call away!  Are you a CCEI CDA Graduate?  Get $50 off your CDA Renewal!

A Summer Curriculum that gives children "A Summer of Wonder" and Excitement!

Pinnacle's Summer of Wonder introduces children to the wonders of weather and nature.  The  15-week curriculum for school age children provides a "Summer of Wonder" filled with activities and lessons related to weather preparedness, how weather phenomena effect nature, animals, and the effect the constellations have on geography, tides, and seasons.

For a limited time, CCEI is offering Summer of Wonder for $49.99.  The program includes 15
weeks of curriculum, 50 Parent Promotion Letters, 11x17 "A Summer of Wonder" promotional
poster, 2 "A Summer  of Wonder" buttons for teachers to wear, and a complete Summer Camp
Curriculum with interchangeable topics and themes designed to adapt to your scheduling needs.

To take advantage of this special offer, call CCEI's Curriculum Specialist, Elaine Bullard, at
 800.499.9907 ext. 522.  Click to learn more about Summer of Wonder!
Calendar of Events

April 23, 24 - CCEI will be exhibiting at the National Head Start Association 35th Annual Training Conference in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.  Visit us at booth 327 for your free gift!
April 28, 29, 30 - Attending the Primrose Schools 2008 National Conference?  Visit CCEI at booth 108 to learn how a Cener-Based CCEI Professional Development Subscription can meet your professional development needs.

May 2, 2008 - Visit CCEI, booth #15, at the Kiddie Academy 2008 Franchisee Conference from 5:30 - 7:30pm at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD.
May 2, 3 - Visit CCEI in booth 63 at the NYSAEYC Annual Conference in Buffalo, NY at the Adam's Mark Hotel. 

Miss an issue? Visit our newsletter archives!

Coming in next month's issue...Selecting Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum!

Some links provided may be time sensitive, and their target content is not created nor controlled by CCEI.
This news is provided for informational purposes, and does not indicate endorsement of any kind.

2008 ChildCare Education Institute. All rights reserved.
CCEI provides training and education programs and makes no guarantee of employment, promotion or retention.
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