You have probably heard of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. But what is it? And more importantly, is it right for you? We work closely with the CDA Council here at Care Courses, so here’s our take on why it is beneficial to get this professional credential.
- You learn more!
Whether you’ve been working in the field of early childhood care and education for a long time or are new to it, there is always something to learn about young children. Most of the theory in early childhood education might be close to 100 years old, but there’s still good new research coming out. Getting your CDA Credential makes sure you know the latest stuff. Care Courses has training courses specifically designed to address the 8 CDA subject areas defined by the Council for Professional Recognition. With Care Courses you get the latest information about young children, you are well prepared for the CDA Exam, and you have the professional development to prove it.
- For better pay, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment.
These days, many in early childhood care and education know what a CDA Credential is. If you haven’t heard it yet, you probably will soon! The model of QRIS (Quality Rating and Improvement Systems) is an example of how essential it has become. Many states have or are developing QRIS for child care centers and home care facilities that recognize valuable programs and advancing staff development. How? Well, in many places early care and education workers can be awarded individual monetary bonuses for having the CDA Credential. Better yet, centers are then commended for their highly qualified staff and program and thus promoted as more desirable to surrounding parents and communities. Getting a CDA helps you and your place of work. It shows your dedication and professionalism and will be widely recognized by everyone you work with and beyond.
- Because you’re a professional in the industry!
Many in the industry know that working with young children can be incredibly rewarding, but agree that it can be incredibly challenging as well. Many also know that this dynamic is a part of the commitment you make to the profession. When you decide to do more with your career in early childhood care and education by getting your CDA, you’re saying loud and clear, “I want to be a professional at this no matter what the challenges are.” Getting your CDA shows your dedication to this commitment and the demands of working in early childhood. YOU are an early childhood professional!
- To meet the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards.
NAEYC standards provide a common national framework for all early childhood professional development systems and programs. Research and probably even common sense say that the expertise needed to provide a nurturing environment for young children is acquired through specialized professional development. In other words, how can you go wrong if you get great knowledge about young children and then are actually able to put into practice?
NAEYC and the CDA Council believe in state and national professional development systems that help those who work in child care and early education make connections between the information they learn in their training, beginning with the first clock hour and continuing through all those that follow. Getting your CDA Credential is a big part of that connection and helps you identify who you are today, who you’ll be in the future, and the ongoing positive impact you’ll have in the industry.
- So parents can be even more confident in you!
Parents and families of children in early childhood care and education expect a lot from those who care for their children. After all, in many instances, caregivers and early educators often spend just as much time if not more with the children than their parents. On the flip side, providers expect parents to trust them. By having the CDA Credential, you are reinforcing this trust. Professional early childhood care and education providers understand that teaching and learning with young children is complex. Positive relationships and supportive interactions with the parents and families of the children they work with need to serve as the foundation for this complex work. The CDA Credential establishes the background knowledge, understanding and ability to implement developmentally appropriate practice, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.
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!