What’s an early childhood professional organization membership?

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.


“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


“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


“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 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.

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