What is a Child Development Associate Credential?

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. 

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

CDAs have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDAs know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

Earning the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ has many advantages, including exposure to the larger community of early childhood educators. Over 400,000 educators have received their CDA to date!

Becoming a CDA is a big commitment, but one that creates confident practitioners with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children.

Benefits of The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™

  • Advance your career
  • Meet job requirements
  • Reinforce your commitment to early childhood education
  • Provide parents with peace of mind
  • Understand developmentally appropriate practice
  • Increase your confidence

Click here to see the entire CDA process, and where this course fits in to it: STEP ONE

This is a Self-Paced Online Course     This course is entirely driven by you! All 120 hours of the required training are right here. Work at your own pace, in your own time, in the comfort of your own home. This course meets the STEP ONE 120-hour training requirement for the CDA Credential, as described in the flyer you can download above.

Support Sessions included (2 hours each)    Need some face-to-face help? You get unlimited free Support Sessions with us!  Get expert help, ask questions, and meet other CDA Students. During these sessions, we will also help you build your Professional Portfolio, and when the time comes, assist you with the CDA Application paperwork. Sessions are scheduled monthly online using Zoom Check out our website for the Support Session Schedule: https://www.august-education.com/cda

WA STARS Annual Hours included  If you live in WA State, 20 Hours of STARS is included, so you won’t need to take extra training this year! You will also be able to apply for $250 reimbursement from the DEL. We’ll help you do this.

IMPORTANT:  This course includes activities you must complete away from the computer. You will need the ability to:

  • download and print documents
  • scan and upload documents back into the course

Please be sure you are able to do this before purchasing this course!

If you have any questions prior to purchasing, please give us a call at (206)715-6146 (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm PST) or email miriam@august-education.com 

Refund Policy:

  • All course purchases are final.
  • We do not provide refunds for unfinished courses.
  • If you purchased this course by accident, and have not started ANY of the coursework, please email us within 12 hours of purchase to discuss your options.

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Child Development Associate - Preparatory Course | 120 hours

    • Let's Get Started!

    • How to navigate this course

  • 2

    Introduction

    • Before we begin...

    • Course Overview

    • Discussion - Introduce Yourself

  • 3

    Module 1 | Planning A Healthy & Safe Learning Environment | 10 Hours

    • Bye Bye Germs!

    • Quiz: Bye Bye Germs!

    • Health & Safety Practices - An Overview

    • Hand Washing - Video

    • Project - Hand Washing

    • Diaper Changing - Video

    • Project - Diapering

    • Cleaning and Sanitizing - Video

    • Project - Cleaning & Sanitizing

    • Health & Safety In The Classroom

    • Quiz - Health & Safety In The Classroom

    • Safety Procedures & Accident Prevention - Video

    • Project - Safety Precautions and Accident Prevention

    • Food Handling Tips

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement I: Safe & Healthy Learning Environment

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement I: Instruction Page

    • Discussion - COVID-19

    • If You Live In Washington State...

  • 4

    Module 2 | Understanding The Principles of Child Development & Learning |20 Hours

    • How The Brain Functions And Learns

    • The Human Brain - Video

    • Quiz - Brain Functions

    • Brain Development in Young Children

    • Q&A - The Brain and Multi-Sensory Experiences

    • Serve and Return Interactions

    • Serve And Return I - Video

    • Serve And Return II - Video

    • Project - Serve & Return in Action

    • The Brain-Body Link

    • Project - Sensory Experiences

    • Theories of Child Development

    • John Dewey - Video

    • Q&A - Dewey

    • Maria Montessori - Video

    • Q&A - Montessori

    • Lev Vygotsky - Video

    • Q&A - Vygotsky

    • Erik Erikson - Video

    • Q&A - Erikson

    • Jean Piaget - Video

    • Q&A - Piaget

    • Whole Child Development

    • Developmental Milestones Quiz

    • Discussion - Whole Child Development

  • 5

    Module 3 | Advancing Children's Physical Development | 10 Hours

    • How Children's Bodies Grow

    • Types of Movement

    • Supporting Movement In The Classroom

    • Project - Physical Activity in the Classroom

    • Physical Development in Your Lesson Plan

    • Project - In Your Classroom

    • Discussion - The Value of Physical Movement in Early Childhood Classrooms

  • 6

    Module 4 | Advancing Children's Intellectual Development | 10 Hours

    • Intellectual or Cognitive Development

    • Cognitive Development Q & A

    • Ages & Stages of Cognitive Development

    • More Cognitive Development Milestones

    • Project - Cognitive Development in your Classroom

    • Cognitive Development In Your Lesson Plan

    • Project - Classroom In Action

    • Promoting Language Development

    • Emergent Literacy

    • Emergent Literacy: Early Reading and Writing Development

    • Project - Language Development Lesson

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement II: Advancing Physical & Intellectual Competence

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement II

    • Discussion - Language Development

  • 7

    Module 5 | Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Development | 20 Hours

    • Emotional Skills Development

    • The Six Stages of a Child's Emotional Development

    • Project - Emotional Development Case Study

    • Social Development in Young Children

    • Getting Along Together

    • Project - Identifying Social Developmental Milestones

    • Identifying Social Development Project Page -Upload your Assignment

    • Social & Emotional Development In Your Classroom

    • Experiencing Challenging Behaviors

    • Direct Positive Guidance

    • Strategies for Direct Positive Guidance

    • Project - DPG #1 - The Learning Environment

    • DPG #2 - Developmental vs Learned Behaviors

    • It's Typical!!!

    • DPG #3 - Setting Boundaries

    • Consistent Consequences

    • Project - Consistent Consequences in the Classroom

    • Consistent Consequences Q & A

    • DPG #4 - Giving Instructions

    • Giving Instructions

    • ReActive Strategies

    • Five ReActive Strategies

    • Using ReActive Strategies

    • Project - What Would You Do?

    • What Would You Do - Upload Your Assignment

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement III - Supporting Social & Emotional Development & Providing Positive Guidance

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement III

    • Attachment Theory

    • Discussion - The Importance of a Healthy Emotional Life

  • 8

    Module 6 | Observing & Recording Children’s Behavior | 20 Hours

    • Assessment of Learning & Development

    • Observation & Assessment Quiz

    • What Are We Observing & Assessing?

    • The Teaching Cycle

    • The Teaching Cycle In The Classroom

    • Project - Observations in Action

    • What Did You Observe?

    • Project - Design An Assessment

    • Evidence of Children’s Learning & Development

    • Building Meaningful Portfolios Q & A

    • Discussion - Observations & Assessments in Action

  • 9

    Module 7 | Establishing Effective & Productive Relationships With Families |10 Hours

    • The Anatomy of the Parent

    • Talking To Parents Like A Pro!

    • Communication Assessment

    • Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication

    • Communicating with Families

    • The Sandwich Approach

    • Using The Sandwich Approach

    • Family Delightment

    • Project - Customer Interviews

    • From the Usual to the Remarkable

    • How do you go from USUAL to REMARKABLE?

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement IV | To Establish Positive and Productive Relationships with Families

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement IV

  • 10

    Module 8 | Managing an Effective Program Operation |10 Hours

    • Managing The Early Learning Classroom

    • Classroom Management

    • Project - Discovering Areas of Opportunity

    • Discovering Areas of Opportunity - Upload Your Assignments

    • Making It Happen!

    • Project - Effective Program Management

    • Licensing Regulations and Quality Standards

    • Your Regulatory Agency

    • Project - Understanding Licensing Regulations

    • Project - More Licensing Regulations

    • Discussion - Managing my Program

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement V | To Ensure a Well-Run, Purposeful Program

    • Portfolio - Competency Standard V

    • If You Live In WA State...

  • 11

    Module 9 | Maintaining A Commitment to Professionalism |10 Hours

    • Daycare Worker, Or Something More?

    • Professional Reflection

    • Project - YOU, as a Professional

    • Project - Gaining A Broader Perspective

    • Program Visit Reflection

    • Professional Resources, Organizations, and Associations

    • Becoming Familiar with the Early Childhood Education Field

    • Portfolio - Competency Statement VI

  • 12

    Final Steps

    • A Small Reminder Of Who You Are!

    • Your Professional Philosophy Statement

    • Before you go...

    • Final Reminders

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