CDA Course Overview

The Penn State Better Kid Care On Demand CDA Course meets the professional education requirements of 120 hours of formal early childhood education for the CDA Credential® and guides participants in how to complete the entire CDA Credential® process.

Join the Better Kid Care Course from start to finish to complete your CDA journey!

Join the Better Kid Care Course from start to finish to complete your CDA journey!

The goal of the CDA course is to prepare CDA candidates to apply to the Council for Professional Recognition (CDA Council).

Ten online mentoring tutorials help participants prepare for the CDA Application process, Verification Visit, and the CDA Exam to complete the CDA Credential® process. The first tutorial, CDA: Get Started, will answer many of your questions about cost, requirements, timeline, who to contact for help, and more! Sign in to On Demand to get started! Need more information? Call 800-452-9108

Watch a CDA Course Demo on YouTube.

 CDA Course requirements

Course work consists of:

80 hours of core/required online lessons (10 hours from each CDA Subject Area)

Core/required online lessons vary according to CDA credential settings (center-based infant-toddler, center-based preschool, home-based family child care).

40 hours of elective online lessons

Elective lessons are selected by the participant from the On Demand Course listings of CDA eligible lessons. Elective lessons must fit the CDA credential setting that is being pursued and can fall under any of the eight CDA Subject Areas. All Better Kid Care (BKC) lessons are coded by CDA Subject Area.  

Required course resource books

Reading and workbook assignments are included in the following:

  • Essentials for Working with Young Children, 2nd edition curriculum
  • Essentials Workbook, 2nd edition
  • The Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program® and CDA Competency Standards (in chosen CDA setting)

Note: The books are available to order from the CDA Council Store.

Better Kid Care Research-to-Practice articles

Short research-to-practice articles for each functional area are part of the coursework.

CDA Professional Portfolio

The On Demand CDA Course includes assignments that lead participants through required steps to complete their CDA Professional Portfolio. Throughout the course, participants:
  • Identify and add items to the Resource Collection
  • Write six Reflective Statements of Competence, one for each CDA Competency Standard
  • Write the Professional Philosophy Statement
  • Distribute the Family Questionnaire form
  • Complete the Family Questionnaire Summary Sheet
  • Prepare for the Verification Visit and CDA Exam

Download this CDA Course Overview (PDF)

References

  • Council for Professional Recognition. 2013. The Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program® and CDA Competency Standards: Family Child Care Edition. Washington, DC: Council for Professional Recognition.
  • Ibid. The Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program® and CDA Competency Standards: Infant-Toddler Edition. Ibid.>
  • Ibid. The Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program® and CDA Competency Standards: Preschool Edition. Ibid.
  • Council for Professional Recognition, and Valora Washington, ed. 2017. Essentials for Working with Young Children. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Council for Professional Recognition.
  • Council for Professional Recognition, and Valora Washington, ed. 2017. Essentials Workbook. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Council for Professional Recognition.

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CDA Course Overview

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