Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentialing
The Council for Professional Recognition administers the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program. The CDA Program is designed to assess and credential early childhood education professionals. The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards. There are four types of credentials: preschool, infant/toddler, family child care, and home visitor. CDA Candidates must complete 120 hours of formal training, have experience in the appropriate setting, develop a professional (portfolio), distribute and collect parent questionnaires, and be observed by a CDA (Professional Development Specialists). Once the candidate has completed all of the requirements they can apply for a verification visit. The verification visit is conducted by the Professional Development Specialists. The candidate will take an exam at a Pearson Vue Testing Center.
Further information is available on the Council for Professional Recognition website.
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 Early Childhood Professional Recognition website at www.cdacouncil.org
How do individuals apply for funds?
The NDE Office of Early Childhood accepts applications on a year round basis. Each application will be reviewed by NDE staff. Anyone interested should follow the steps listed below:
- Complete all documentation as required in the application packet.
- No later than three (3) weeks prior to submitting application materials to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition, send an application for a CDA Scholarship to the NDE Office of Early Childhood.
- Upon approval, NDE will email a Letter of Authorization to the applicant. This letter provides authorization for the Council for Early Childhood 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 Early Childhood Professional Recognition.
For questions regarding the CDA Scholarship Project, please contact:
Office of Early Childhood
Nebraska Department of Education