Jul 23, 2024  
2020 - 2021 College Catalog 
2020 - 2021 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education: Child Development Associate Credential Certificate

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The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) is a national credentialing program that focuses on the skills of early care and education professionals; it is a performance-based assessment of childcare staff, home visitor, and family child care provider. The Child Development Associate Credential is designed for individuals who wish to obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) through the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition Credentialing Process.

Gateway Community College offers the courses that will provide students with the required 120 clock hours of education for the credentialing process. Credits earned as part of this program can be applied to the Early Childhood Education Teacher Assistant certificate and degree programs.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the certificate program requirements, students will be eligible to apply to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition who awards the CDA Credential.  With a CDA Credential, students will be more likely to find employment in an accredited and/or state funded child care center. However, in addition to the courses, there are other requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to obtain a CDA Credential.

Total Program Credits: 9

For more information, email the Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator, Carmelita Valencia-Daye at cvalencia-Daye@gatewayct.edu. For scholarship information, contact the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood/Connecticut Charts-A-Course, visit the website at http://ctcharts.org or call (800) 832-7784.

The New Credentialing process for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential as of June 2013 is as follows:

Step 1: Any time before application:

  • Minimum of high school diploma/GED or enrolled in a high school career and technical education program.
  • 120 hours of education in 8 subject areas

Step 2: Within three years before application

  • 480 hours experience

Step 3: Within six months before application


  • Professional Portfolio (PP) completed by the Candidate
  • Family questionnaires (FQ) gathered by the Candidate

Step 4: Application

  • Candidate sends to the Council: Application and Fee
  • Candidate receives approval that application is complete and fee has been processed

Step 5: Within 6 months of Council approval and completed application

  • Verification Visit conducted by CDA Professional Development specialist
  • Candidate takes CDA Exam at a local PearsonVUE testing center

Step 6: After Verification Visit and CDA Exam

  • Professional Development Specialist sends Verification Visit scores to the Council online
  • PearsonVUE sends exam scores to the Council online

Council awards or denies Credential

For more information, visit http://www.cdacouncil.org

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