Can I Use My High School Diploma From Another Country For My National CDA?

One of the requirements to apply for your National CDA is to have a high school diploma or equivalent. One question we often get at Care Courses is, can I use my high school diploma from another country for the National CDA?

… Yes!

The Council for Professional Recognition accepts high school diplomas from any country for the National CDA. In fact, no documentation of a high school diploma is required to be submitted to the Council. On the application for the Child Development Associate (CDA), there is simply a place where confirm that you…

  • have a high school diploma (completed in or outside the US),
  • passed the GED,
  • are currently a high school junior or senior enrolled in an early education/child care development Career and Technical Program.

You might also be wondering if you are eligible for the CDA if you have other qualifications that you completed outside of the US. For example, what if you have some experience working with young children outside the US? Couldn’t this make up part of the 480 hours of experience with young children that is required within 3 years before applying? This experience outside the US would not count!

If you are applying within the US, the Council only accepts experience done in licensed programs within the US or on US military bases abroad or in programs within the US that are legally exempt from licensing. Many states exempt specific kinds of child care providers from licensing, such as programs run by religious organizations, school-age programs run by public schools, and summer camps (check with your state’s licensing agency to determine what programs are exempt).

Interested in starting your CDA? Take our free CDA 101 tutorial to learn the CDA process! Then read up on your CDA setting. On the fence about getting your CDA? Check out these top 5 reasons you should get your CDA.

The Council does have some partnerships with international early education organizations and government agencies. Only Candidates applying with these international partners can obtain experience hours outside of the US. Please check with the CDA council or one of these organizations before applying for your National CDA outside of the United States.

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

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