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CDA Credentialing/Scholarships

Child Development Associate Scholarship Project

What is the CDA Scholarship Project?

The CDA Scholarship Project provides individuals working in early childhood care and education programs in Nebraska the opportunity to apply for funds to assist with the costs of achieving a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Funds for this project come from the federal Child Care and Development Fund and may be used for the initial assessment or renewal fees. The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Office of Early Childhood administers this project.

What is a CDA?

A Child Development Associate is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and has been awarded the CDA credential. S/he is able to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth within a child development framework.

Who is eligible to apply for scholarship funds?

Anyone working in an early childhood program in Nebraska who has completed the required documentation is eligible to apply for CDA Scholarship funds.

What costs are covered?

The CDA Scholarship Project covers only the fees for the initial CDA assessment and for renewal of a CDA. Individuals are responsible for paying the cost of the CDA application packet. The application packet is available on The Council for Professional Recognition website.

Funding is limited and will be dispersed as available.

How do individuals apply for a CDA Scholarship?

The NDE Office of Early Childhood accepts applications year round. Each application will be reviewed by NDE staff. Anyone interested should follow the steps listed below for submitting a CDA Application via paper or online:

Paper Applications

  1. Complete all documentation as required in the application packet
  2. No later than three (3) weeks prior to submitting application materials to The Council for Professional Recognition, send completed CDA Scholarship Application to
  3. Upon approval, NDE will email a Letter of Authorization to the applicant. This letter provides authorization for The Council for Professional Recognition to invoice NDE for the appropriate fees. This Letter of Authorization will be valid for 60 days and must be included with the application being sent to the Council for Professional Recognition.

Online Applications

  1. Create an account on The Council for Professional Recognition website
  2. Complete all documentation as required for your CDA
  3. Fill out CDA Scholarship Application including your 7 digit Customer ID#
  4. Submit completed CDA Scholarship Application to (please allow up to 2 weeks for processing)
  5. Once application is approved you will receive an email from The Council for Professional Recognition with your voucher number
  6. Log back into your account and enter the voucher number as payment

For questions regarding the CDA Scholarship Project, please contact:

Tammi Hicken
Office of Early Childhood
Nebraska Department of Education
Phone: 531-207-8917

Updated July 21, 2021 2:47pm