What are the minimum enrollment requirements before I begin?
Why should I get a CDA?
There are no minimum requirements before enrolling in our CDA program. We ask that all participants meet the CDA Council for Professional Recognition requirements by the end of class with us, as outlined below:
By the time you complete classes with us, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be able to speak, read and write English well enough to fulfill the CDA credential requirements
- Need to be 18 years of age or older
- Hold a High School Diploma, G.E.D., or equivalent
- And at the conclusion of CDA classwork have at least 480 hours of experience with young children in the past five years (This experience with young children could be either a paid or volunteer work experience and can happen during the time in class. This could include, but is not limited to volunteering in a child care center, leading a child care program in your home, working as an assistant teacher in a nursery school, working as a teacher’s aide in a head start program, leading a summer camp club, volunteering in an after-school program, etc.)
- Access to a cell phone, computer, laptop or tablet
- An internet connection
- An email account
- Access to a cell phone with a camera or a scanner
Students will work approximately 120 hours on CDA coursework completion. Participants have up to twelve months to complete CDA coursework in its entirety. Most students complete in 12 weeks. Students can log on to CDAClass.org and work toward coursework completion during the day, evening, weekends, and even holidays. The date a student enrolls is their official start date. All students have one year from the official start date to submit all needed materials for approval.
Students order the materials below after class begins. Materials take 14 business days to arrive. For pricing please click here.
- CDA textbook
- CDA application packet
- National Association for Child Development Associates (NACDA) membership
What will I study?
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. Some students receive their CDA as a stepping stone to teacher certification. Others use it to advance their career as a daycare or preschool teacher, head-start worker, center director, child care owner, teaching assistant, or nanny.
How much does it cost?
Participants will choose one of the following CDA credential specializations:
- Center-based Infant/Toddler (English)
- Center-based Preschool (English)
- Family Child Care (English)
You will learn about different types of child care programs, child growth and development, child nutrition, daily routines, curriculum planning, and more. Students will create a weekly lesson plan, a minimum of three learning activities for young children, and a professional resume and cover letter.
By the end of the class you will know how to:
- Plan a safe, healthy learning environment
- Advance a child’s physical and intellectual development
- Support a child’s social and emotional development
- Establish productive relationships with families
- Manage an effective program operation
- Maintain a commitment to professionalism
- Observe and record a child’s behavior
How long does it take?
Tuition for our 120 hour program is $800, which can be split into five monthly payments of just $160 per month. This is less than $7 per training hour. Click here to request a payment plan application. There is a $50 application fee and materials are not covered in the price of tuition. Materials are not needed in the beginning of class. There are 11 assignments students complete before materials are needed. There are three materials you will need in class. The textbook at $85, paperback application packet at $40 and the NACDA membership card at $45. This cost includes all shipping and taxes. Students who join our class typically order materials within 1-4 weeks after joining. Click here for more information pertaining to materials and timing of ordering materials.
You may qualify for tuition scholarship and/or reimbursement. For states in which offer no scholarship program we offer a flexible payment plan option. Click here to learn more about the state scholarship and reimbursement programs that are currently available.
All students need to apply to the CDA Council in Washington, D.C. for an assessment by a CDA Council PD Specialist. There is a fee for this assessment process, but most states have either a scholarship and/or a reimbursement program available to pay for this. When you are enrolled in our program your instructor will assist you with locating potential scholarship opportunities.
How hard is the class?
Students will work approximately 120 hours on CDA coursework completion. Participants can complete coursework in as little as eight weeks, but have up to twelve months to complete CDA coursework in its entirety. At the end of our program, students will submit their application to the CDA Council for a CDA Council PD Specialist to assess their work. The CDA Council takes approximately 2-4 weeks to assess CDA candidates.
Is there someone who can help me if I am having difficulty?
Everyone can successfully complete our class. There are 11 modules, so a typical student completes the class in 12 weeks, by doing approximately one module per week. Because the class is self-paced, you can complete it in a shorter or longer time-frame. There are no math or science classes. The content is focused on child growth and development. You will be assigned to an instructor who can help if you are having difficulty with any of the course content.
Do you offer job placement?
Yes, each student is assigned to an instructor. You can email your instructor at any time with questions. We also have telephone conference calls and online chat sessions where you can talk directly with a member of the instructional team. Instructional videos are available.
Is there specific state information I need to know?
Yes. Many students begin class with no experience in the child care field. During class you will receive job placement services. This includes assistance with creating a professional resume and cover letter, access to job openings in your local area and informational sessions on interviewing techniques. If you are interested in owning your own child care program our coursework includes program administration and state specific licensing information.
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is valid in all 50 states, but each state has its own licensing requirements. Some states offer tuition reimbursement and/or scholarships. Scroll down to the map below and click on a specific state to find out more information.