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Child Development Associate (CDA)

The Council for Professional Recognition administers the CDA credential as part of a major national effort to improve the quality of child care.  Focusing on the skills of the adults working with young children in child care settings, the program is designed to provide competency based education and assessment leading to a CDA credential.

CDA Candidate Eligibility Requirements:

Candidates seeking to apply for CDA assessment in any of the three settings (center-based, family child care, and home visitor) must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Have 480 hours of experience working with children within the past five years
  • Have 120 clock hours of formal child care education within the past five years

Candidates applying for a Bilingual Endorsement must meet the above requirements and be able to speak, read, and write well enough in both English and another language to understand and be understood by both children and adults. All Candidates must also be able to identify an appropriate setting where they can be observed working as the lead caregiver. For more detailed information please visit the CDA website here

Child Care Council of Nassau offers a CDA Preparation Courses.  This course provides the 120 hours of education required to apply to become a CDA. Individuals interested in enrolling in a CDA Course must be currently working with young children (6 weeks – 5 years) in a group setting OR provide documentation of (a minimum of 12 hours each week) paid or volunteer work during the course.

CDA Renewal:

A CDA Credential is valid for three years from the award date, after which it may be renewed in five-year increments. The purpose of the CDA renewal is to ensure that Child Development Associates are maintaining current knowledge and skills in their work with young children and families.

Child Care Council of Nassau also offers a CDA Renewal course. Renewal of your CDA Credential requires 45 hours of continuing education units (CEUs).  Child Care Council of Nassau offers CEUs for our workshops (unless otherwise noted) for an additional fee.

For more information or to register call Lisa Hilliard at 516.358.9250 x 15, email:

SUNY Empire State College/Early Childhood Education Studies

Empire State College offers coursework that prepares you to work in the early child care and education profession, such as child care programs, infant/toddler and nursery school settings, pre-K and Head Start. Your individually designed degree program may be an associate or a bachelor’s degree, or both. You develop a concentration in early childhood or a related field. Empire State College offers the flexibility a child care provider needs. You can choose from a variety of opportunities at the college including study groups, online courses, and guided independent study.

Empire State College does not offer undergraduate teacher certification programs to teach in public schools. To find out about the teaching certification requirements go to

Visit Empire College’s Website for more information here


NY State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) administers the following credential programs:

·         Children’s Program Administrator Credential

·         Infant Toddler Care & Education Credential

·         Early Learning Trainer Credential

·         Family Child Care Credential

Visit the NYSAEYC website for more information here

Updated February 2011