Child Development Association (CDA) Credential

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

Q:        What is the CDA?

            A:        A:        The CDA is a national Child Care credential offered by an organization in
           Washington, D.C.

            The CDA credential is gaining popularity as an entry-level credential in the child care profession, and has often been required to teach in HeadStart.

For more information, please contact CDA Council directly at


Q:       Does Delgado offer a CDA certificate?

A:        No, only CDA Council does that. Delgado does offer prep courses to prepare for the credential, giving candidates all of the classroom hours and professional networking required, but many other things are required to earn the credential in addition to the classroom hours.


Q:       Tell me about Delgado's CDA Prep courses.

A:        These are two college courses that are usually held on a "fast-track" so students may take both courses in one semester.                                      

Instructors are credentialed to teach CDYC at Delgado Community College.

CDYC Department oversees academic standards of the course and instructors and can be reached at 504 671-6511

            Each of the two Prep courses is 60 contact hours, 3 college credit hours. 
            Candidates will usually need both courses to complete requirements for the CDA.
                1. CDYC 106 CDA Prep I 
                2. CDYC 107 CDA Prep II

            Pre-requisites for enrolling in the CDA Prep Courses at Delgado:

             - Students must apply for admissions to the college and be accepted into the college.

             - Students must be employed at a child care center or home based daycare (or serve as a regular volunteer).

The CDA Prep courses total 120 Contact (Clock) Hours, divided into two courses of 60 contact hours each. Together, these two courses include all of the classroom hours needed in each of the six sections or competencies, with 10 contact hours spent on each:

                   1. Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment

                    2. Physical and Cognitive Development

                    3. Social and Emotional Development

                    4. Observing and Recording Children�s Behavior

                    5. Program Management

                    6. Professionalism

We also offer CDYC 108 from time to time, for those seeking CDA Renewal or a personal Mentor/Advisor needed to earn the CDA.         

Q:        Do these courses earn college credit toward a degree?

A:         Yes! Students who have been admitted to the college as degree-seeking in the CDYC major may count CDYC 106 and CDYC 107 as CDCY electives in the AAS in CDYC at Delgado Community College.  In addition, once you have earned your CDA certificate, you may request to LEAP out of another required course in the major, CDYC 111/Observation and Assessment.

            For information about LEAP process, contact Registrar, 504-671-5022


Q:       Must you be earning a degree at Delgado to take the CDA Prep classes?

 A:        No. Students who have been admitted to the college as certificate-seeking may earn a TCA or Technical Competency Certificate by successfully completing the series of CDYC 106 plus CDYC 107.

Note that this is not the same as the CDA certificate, which is issued only by CDA Council and involves other requirements in addition to completion of the courses.

            Contact for specific information on the CDA credential.


Q:        Must I take these college courses to get the CDA credential?

A:         No. CDA Council recognizes other ways to earn required classroom hours, including use of workshops and other college and community courses. Delgado courses are a complete way to get the required hours while also earning college credit and getting group support. Direct all questions as to other ways to gain the hours, or to have your own transcript evaluated for CDA to:


 Q:        How long does it take to earn the CDA credential?

 A:         Usually about a year, depending on your individual situation. It is self-paced, based on the student's ability to go through the process. To obtain your certification, in addition to the 120 classroom hours in the specific areas of competency, and documentation of at least 480 hours working successfully with young children in an approved environment, candidates engage a local recognized professional in the field to advise them and observe them and then attend a final team assessment meeting. Team members include the candidate, an advisor, a parent representative and a CDA representative.

The assessment team observes the candidate acting in the role of head teacher for three full days, plus interviews the family of the children, reviews the test and written portfolio, and interviews the candidate. There is also a fee. For complete information on this credential and its requirements, contact

Q:        How much does it cost to earn the CDA?

A:         The CDA itself has a fee of about $325.00 that is paid directly by the candidate to the CDA Council after completion of all requirements. That fee is separate from any tuition or fees for preparation courses or workshops. Candidates are also required to maintain membership in professional organizations.

The prep courses from Delgado are regular college courses. Tuition and fees are based on number of credits. Tuition and fees are stated in the current student handbook each semester. Each of our prep courses is 3 college credit hours.

Q:        Is there financial aid available for CDA Prep?

A:         Federal financial aid is available for those on a degree-seeking track who qualify.

For those who are not on a degree track or who are not eligible for federal aid, contact Louisiana Pathways Child Care Career Development System: 800-245-8925.

"Pathways" awards non-competitive scholarships for tuition for those on its registry who are going into early childhood as a profession at any level. "Pathways" may also help defray the expense of the CDA credential fee, accreditation fees for child care centers, and other professional expenses.