What’s an early childhood professional organization membership?

Posted by Care Courses

May 2, 2018 9:10:17 AM

Renewing your national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential? The CDA Council requires that you submit proof of membership in an early childhood professional organization. Your membership must be current at the time you submit your CDA renewal application.

The CDA Council will accept an individual membership or one that is part of your center’s membership.

Many national and local organizations fulfill this requirement. Additionally, membership in these organizations will support your professional development as an early childhood educator.

There are many organizations to choose from. We have included a few here, and a more comprehensive listing below.

NAEYC

“The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The association comprises nearly 60,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 50 Affiliates, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.” – from the NAEYC website

Click here for more information and to join: www.naeyc.org

NAFCC

“Started in 1982, the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) is the only national professional association dedicated to promoting high-quality early childhood experiences in the unique environment of family child care programs. NAFCC works on behalf of the one million family child care providers operating nationwide.” – from the NAFCC website

Click here for more information and to join: www.nafcc.org

NBCDI

“For more than 40 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and their families. We are a trusted partner in delivering culturally relevant resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues including early childhood education, health, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. With the support of our Affiliate network in communities across the country, we are committed to our mission ‘to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and their families through education and advocacy.’” – from the NCBDI website

Click here for more information and to join: www.nbcdi.org

ZERO TO THREE

“ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Healthy connections help build babies’ brains. Our mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. At ZERO TO THREE, we envision a society that has the knowledge and will to support all infants and toddlers in reaching their full potential.” – from the ZERO TO THREE website

Click here for more information and to join: www.zerotothree.org

Many other organizations

Not sure which organization is best for you? The Council for Professional Recognition maintains a list of accepted organizations.

What’s not accepted?

The CDA Council does not accept the following memberships for this requirement:

  • State registry organization
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Teachers’ Union
  • Magazine subscriptions

Need more information regarding your CDA’s renewal? Click here to read the Renewal Procedures Guide for your setting.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

Who can serve as my Early Childhood Education Reviewer?

Posted by Care Courses

Apr 20, 2018 8:44:00 AM

If you are renewing your national center-based or family child care Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, you will need an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Professional to serve as your ECE Reviewer. An ECE Reviewer must have recent—within the last year—and firsthand knowledge of your capability as a caregiver for children in the setting of your credential. The ECE Reviewer must verify on your application that you have at least 80 hours of experience working with children in your setting in the past year.

An ECE Reviewer must meet one of three education requirements.

  1. A four-year child development degree and two years of experience working in early child care (at least one year working directly with the children and at least one year of responsibility for the professional growth of another adult)
  2. A two-year child development degree and four years of experience in early child care (at least two years working directly with the children and at least two years of responsibility for the professional growth of another adult)
  3. A valid CDA credential; 12 college credits or 180 clock hours of training in early childhood education; and six years of experience working in early child care (at least four years working directly with children and at least two years of responsibility for the professional growth of another adult)

In the interest of objectivity and credibility, there should be no conflict of interest when choosing an Early Childhood Education Reviewer. The reviewer must not be working with you as a co-teacher on a daily basis in the same group or home; must not be related to you; and must not be related to a child in your care.

More information on the requirements of an ECE Reviewer can be found in Information for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Reviewer from the Council for Professional Recognition. For more information on renewing your CDA, read the Renewal Procedures Guide.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

What is a CDA?

Posted by Care Courses

Dec 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

 

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Let Care Courses Help You Earn Your National CDA!

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized credential in the early childhood education field. Earning your CDA confirms to employers, parents, and others that you understand and meet the highest standards in early childhood care and education.

The national CDA credential is awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C. and is recognized throughout the United States and its territories.

The CDA Council awards the credential to applicants meeting a set of competency standards that include topics such as “establishing and maintaining a safe, healthy learning environment” and “supporting social and emotional development and providing positive guidance.”

Care Courses CDA training aligns with these competency standards. We are one of the first recipients of the CDA’s Gold Standard Training Certification award, which means that our training meets the Council’s rigorous criteria for professional development, student services, and sound business practices.

We have written extensively about the CDA process. Review the following blogs if you’re just getting started:

Once you have earned your CDA, you must renew it every three years. We’ve written about that as well!

· How do I renew my CDA?

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the CDA process. Call us at 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends at info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

 

 

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Topics: The National CDA

5 Steps to Completing the Professional Portfolio for your National CDA

Posted by Care Courses

Oct 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Are you pursuing a National CDA? Are you ready to start your Professional Portfolio? Care Courses wants to help!

Let Care Courses Help You Earn Your National CDA!

So how do you create your CDA Professional Portfolio?

Anyone pursuing their CDA Credential should purchase the Competency Standards Book, which is available through the CDA Council’s website. This book gives step-by-step instructions on how to build your Professional Portfolio.

The five main components to a Professional Portfolio are:

  1. The MY CDA Professional Portfolio cover sheet.  This is a checklist of all the items you need in your Professional Portfolio.
  2. The Summary of MY CDA Education cover sheet, followed by all of your certificates, letters, and transcripts.
  3. The Family Questionnaire cover sheet, followed by your completed Family Questionnaires.         
  4. Six Reflective Statements of Competence, followed by the related Resource Collection items as outlined on the MY CDA Professional Portfolio cover sheet.                            
  5. Your Professional Philosophy Statement. This is a summary of your professional viewpoint, which should reflect new ideas you learned through completing your training and portfolio.

You should have your Professional Portfolio completed by the time you apply for your CDA Credential.

For additional assistance with preparing your Professional Portfolio for your National CDA Verification Visit, contact our office! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

Is there a time limit for the CDA?

Posted by Care Courses

Sep 28, 2017 7:57:37 AM

If you are using Care Courses to complete the 120 hours of training for your National CDA, you have as long as you need to complete your coursework.  Care Courses does not currently impose an expiration date or time limit on your training. 

Let Care Courses Help You Earn Your National CDA!

The CDA process typically takes six to eight months on average to complete, but every candidate is different.  The CDA Council does not recognize an individual as a Candidate for the Credential until that person has submitted their application and assessment fee so you have as long as you need to prepare the components necessary to be able to submit an application.  If your current employer has a time frame that they’d like you to adhere to, then you need to make sure you have ample time to meet their deadlines. 

The only time limit that the CDA Council has when obtaining the CDA is the one for scheduling your Verification Visit and CDA Exam.  You have a six-month window after receiving the “Ready to Schedule” notice to take your CDA Exam and have your Verification Visit.  

Once you’ve earned your CDA you must renew it every three years. 

 

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

What do I do if my CDA has expired?

Posted by Care Courses

Jul 18, 2017 2:56:30 PM


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Has your CDA expired? Are you wondering if you should renew or reapply?  People call every day with questions such as, "Can I renew my national CDA if it expired?" or "When does my CDA expire?" or "Is it too late to renew my national CDA?"  

With so much to keep track of during busy days (or years!) it can be easy to lose track of dates. Make sure to take note of the date you received your CDA and the date it expires. Remember that all CDAs issued after June 2013 must be renewed every three years.

Normally, the CDA Council requires that you complete a new CDA Credential if your expired CDA was not renewed before its expiration date.

However, on July 1, 2017 the Council launched the Renewal Amnesty Program. This program will end March 30, 2018.*

Keep reading to learn if your expired CDA qualifies for this amnesty program!

What is the CDA Council’s Renewal Amnesty Program and how can I renew my expired CDA?

If your CDA Credential expired on or after January 1, 2007, the CDA Renewal Amnesty Program allows you to renew your CDA by waiving the renewal deadline. This allows you to complete the renewal requirements and apply online for renewal, even if you did not submit your renewal application before your credential expired. To be eligible for the Renewal Amnesty Program you must meet the five renewal requirements.

If you plan to renew your CDA under the Renewal Amnesty Program, you must:

  1. Complete 45 hours of continuing education training in the setting of your original CDA Credential
    1. Training must be completed after your CDA credential's issue date.
    2. Training must be completed within 5 years prior to the date you submit your renewal application to the Council.
  2. Choose an early childhood education (ECE) professional to complete your recommendation.
  3. Achieve First Aid and Infant/Child (Pediatric) CPR Certification.
  4. Work with young children in the setting of your original CDA Credential.
  5. Join or renew your membership in a national or local early childhood professional organization

We wrote about the renewal process, too!

Anyone who wishes to take advantage of the opportunity to renew under the CDA Council’s Renewal Amnesty Program must have their application materials and payment submitted online by March 30, 2018 with no exceptions or extensions.

If you have already submitted an application to the CDA Council for a new CDA credential because your original CDA credential expired, you must proceed with that initial application process. The Renewal Amnesty Program began on July 1, 2017 and cannot be applied retroactively.

Renew your National CDA with Care Courses

Please let us know how we can assist you further with the CDA process! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

 

 

*This is a new deadline based on an extension announced by the CDA Council on 12/14/2017

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Topics: The National CDA

How do I renew my national CDA?

Posted by Care Courses

Jul 5, 2017 8:19:52 AM

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If your CDA credential is expiring soon, you might be asking, “When am I supposed to renew my CDA?” or, “What do I need to do to renew my CDA?”

Don’t worry!  Care Courses has you covered.

You must apply to renew your CDA before your current credential expires, but the earliest you can apply is six months prior to the expiration date on your current credential.  

To be eligible to renew your national CDA, you must have:

“The Council accepts three (3) forms of verification of coursework specific to your setting:
College or University transcript (Transcript must include the college or university’s name and the renewal Candidate’s name.  In addition, the course must reflect successful completion.)

Verification letter on the training agency’s official letterhead, which includes original signature, title, and contact information of person verifying training.

Training Verification Form (official form included in the Renewal Procedures Guide) – This form should be used by CDA Candidates with training certificates and/or training obtained from multiple sources.”

  • A letter verifying that you have 80 hours of work experience with young children within the past year. This verification should be completed by an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Reviewer.
    • The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Reviewer Standards can be found in the Renewal Procedures Guide for your specific setting. Please note that in order to be considered an ECE Reviewer, the person must meet the CDA Council’s education and work experience standards and must not have any of the conflicts of interest listed in the Renewal Procedures Guide.

  • A letter of recommendation from an ECE Reviewer.
  • Proof of membership to a national or local early childhood professional organization. A list of recommended organizations can be found on the CDA Council’s website.
  • The CDA Council renewal fee of $150. Candidates who apply online receive a $25 discount.

Renew your National CDA with Care Courses

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us at 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends at info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

How do I get a National CDA?

Posted by Care Courses

May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

We hear this question a lot here at Care Courses!

All the information in this blog post applies to earning the Family Child Care CDA, the Preschool Center-Based CDA, and the Infant Toddler Center-Based CDA.

For information on the Home Visitor CDA, which has different requirements, please click here: Home Visitor CDA Requirements. Thanks!

Here are the four steps to earning your national CDA:

Care Courses timeline for the National CDA credential

As a National CDA candidate you will prepare for your application, you will complete the application process, and then you will demonstrate your knowledge in order to earn your CDA Credential.

First: Prepare to apply for the National CDA

Before applying for your CDA (these items can be done simultaneously):

  • Receive your high school diploma or equivalent.

Required time frame: Must be completed before applying for your CDA.

  • Complete 120 hours of formal childcare education covering the 8 CDA subject areas.

Required time frame? None! Take as long as you need to get this training done. However, we strongly recommend that you get your training done no more than five years before you apply. You will want this education fresh in your mind when you take your final CDA Exam and have your Verification Visit.

  • Work 480 hours with children whose ages are consistent with your CDA setting: Infant/Toddler*, Preschool**, or Family***

Required time frame? Within 3 years! You must complete this work within 3 years before applying for your CDA. Your work experience cannot be more than 3 years from the date you apply for your CDA.

  • Purchase a Competency Standards book from the CDA Council for your setting
    (Infant/Toddler, Preschool, or Family). Once you get the book, prepare your portfolio (which is described in detail in the book). Steps involved in creating your portfolio:

o   Create a cover sheet for your portfolio
o   Complete your education summary sheet and assemble your transcripts and/or certificates from your 120 hours of formal childcare training
o   Distribute and collect family questionnaires
o   Complete your family questionnaire summary sheet (after reading the family questionnaires you collected)
o   Complete your reflective dialogue sheet
o   Gather your resource collection items
o   Create your professional philosophy statement

Required time frame? Within 6 months before application! You must complete your professional portfolio within 6 months of applying for your CDA, so be sure to order the book with plenty of time to complete the requirements. Your portfolio cannot be completed more than 6 months before you apply.

  • Complete “Director’s Permission Statement.”

o   Candidates applying for Center-Based CDAs: Have your director fill out the permission statement portion of your application as you will be needing their permission to conduct your verification visit

o   Candidates applying for a Family Child Care CDA: Fill out the permission statement portion of your application yourself. If you are submitting online, you must include an email address that differs from the one you use to log in.

Second: Apply for your CDA

Applying for the CDA includes the following tasks:

  • Select a Professional Development Specialist at CDACouncil.org (or call the Council for assistance) and obtain his/her ID number. 

  • Submit your completed application online at CDACouncil.org/YourCDA ($425) or submit by US mail to the Council ($500).

After your application is received, the Council will send you a ready to schedule notification. This notification will allow you to schedule an appointment with your Professional Development Specialist.

Third: Demonstrate your abilities and knowledge

Once you’ve received your ready to schedule notification from the Council, you will schedule your Verification Visit and your CDA Exam for a date within the next 6 months. You can do either the exam or the visit first – there is no order in which these have to be completed.

The Verification Visit and CDA Exam provide you opportunity to demonstrate your childcare knowledge, skills, and practical experience.

And Finally … Earn your CDA!

Learning whether the Council has awarded you a CDA Credential is the final element to the credentialing process. The Council will notify you of their decision to award or deny your CDA. This typically takes 10 days to 2 weeks from the date you complete all the requirements.

 

* Infant/Toddler: This age group is defined as children aged birth to 3 years. Your work experience must include experience with each of the three infant/toddler sub-groups: young infants (birth–8 months), mobile infants (9–17 months), and toddlers (18–36 months).

** Preschool: This age group is defined as children aged 3 through 5 years.

*** Family Home CDA candidates must work with children aged birth through 5 years.

 

Care Courses provides support throughout your CDA training and after. We are here to help make this experience pleasant and rewarding!

Please let us know how we can assist you further with the CDA process! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

Who is my CDA Professional Development Specialist?

Posted by Care Courses

Mar 18, 2016 2:36:52 PM

Have you completed your CDA training and are now filling out your application? If so you might be wondering “Who is my Professional Development Specialist?” or “Where can I find a PD Specialist?” or “Do I know my PD Specialist?”  Look no further because Care Courses is here to help!

 A PD Specialist is an early childhood professional who is trained and endorsed by The Council for Professional Recognition to conduct your verification visit.

Your PD Specialist cannot be an immediate relative, a current director or supervisor, or a co-worker in your same group/classroom.

So, where can you find your PD Specialist?

The Council has created a Find-A-PD Specialist Online Directory which you can access via the Council’s website, www.cdacouncil.org.  Type in your zip code or city and state, click on Find-a-PDS, and specialists in your area will appear.  The instructions for locating and contacting your PD Specialist can also be found in your Competency Standards book.

If you experience trouble finding or contacting a PD Specialist, the Council has a PD Specialist department that you can call for assistance.  Reach them by phone at 1-800-424-4310.

Once the PD Specialist agrees to conduct your verification visit, they will provide you with their identification number.  You will need to include their number on your CDA application.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!”

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Topics: The National CDA

How do I Complete my Training for the CDA?

Posted by Care Courses

Dec 22, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Are you pursuing your National CDA? Have you already completed a portion of the 120-hour training requirement, but still need more training before you can apply? Look no further because we’re here to help!

training for child care providers

“I’ve only done training through Care Courses. Will I be able to use my Care Courses to get my national CDA?  Will I still have to purchase the whole Care Courses CDA training set?  How can I find out what to do?”

Yes, it is very likely that you will be able to use the Care Courses training that you’ve already completed towards your National CDA, which means that you will most likely not need to purchase an entire CDA training set.

Our CDA training sets satisfy the 120 hours you need and together, the courses cover the eight subject areas required by the CDA council. If you have taken courses that aren’t part of our National CDA training sets, we ask that you give us a call and request a training analysis with our Training Coordinator. She will recommend a personalized course selection so that you can complete your CDA training.

 

“I started my CDA training with another school before I discovered the Care Courses website. May I still complete my CDA with you guys?”

If you are working on the 120 clock hours of training needed to apply for the National CDA and you already have some of the training from a different school, you can still use Care Courses to finish your hours. However, the courses we recommend for you may be different from those included in our CDA Training Sets.

“Well then, what can I do to get started taking Care Courses and completing my CDA training?”

Before ordering additional training, be sure to follow these instructions:

  1. Double check with your original training organization to ensure that the CDA council accepts their training.
  2. Find out which of the Council’s eight subject areas your training covers.
  3. Write down the number of hours you completed in each subject area.  
  4. If your original school isn’t able to give you this information, read pages 8 and 9 in the Council’s Competency Standards Book. The information on these pages will help you review your previous training yourself and determine if the training meets the Council’s requirements.

After you get this information from your previous training provider, call us and speak with one of our Training Coaches. We will help you choose which courses will best meet the remaining training requirement for your CDA.  

If you have completed college level courses in early childhood education and/or child development and want to use them towards your CDA, contact your college or university to find out what subject areas your college courses fulfill.

 

Please let us know how we can assist you further with the CDA process! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

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Topics: The National CDA

About Care Courses

Care Courses has been providing distance learning courses for early childhood professionals for over 27 years. Our courses are delivered to you either via US Mail or on your computer, and can be used for the CDA and many state training requirements. We offer over 60 excellent, convenient courses in a wide variety of interesting, helpful topics, and our courses have no time limits. Do them wherever and whenever you wish. Visit our website to access our course listings.

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