What is a CDA?
The Child Development Associate credential is the most widely recognized credential in early care and education and is the first and most important step you can take to advance your career.
How do I earn my CDA?
The first step is to complete your training through an approved agency such as COAD. There are 9 courses for a total of 135 professional development hours, 120 of which are Ohio Approved!
After you finish your training, you must schedule both a Verification Visit and CDA Competency exam.
Your Verification Visit will be conducted by a Professional Development Specialist (PDS) and will take place over a four-hour time period. A PDS will follow the R.O.R. (Review, Observe, Reflect) model for your visit: 1) Review your portfolio; 2) Observe you in the environment in which you wish to obtain your CDA credential; and 3) Reflect on your visit and discuss ways to make your practice more effective and encourage you to pursue your goals.
You must take your CDA Exam at a PearsonVue approved testing site. The exam is 65 multiple choice questions, and you will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete it. You don’t need any computer skills other than the ability to click a mouse.
You can choose to complete the CDA Exam and the Verification Visit in any order, but both must be completed within 6 months of applying for your credential.
Are there scholarships available?
YES! We do offer scholarships if you live and/or work in the COAD region.
(Please note that due to the popularity of this credential and the limited number of scholarships available, you might not receive a scholarship but we still encourage you to earn your CDA credential.)