The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is a nationally recognized credential earned by those working in the early care and education field. The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards and includes an assessment process by:

Council for Professional Recognition
2460 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(800) 424-4310
www.cdacouncil.org

The CDA credential, a recognized part of child care regulations in Iowa, is a way to earn points on Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) and is part of achieving some accreditation standards.

Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program

Initial Steps in Preparing for CDA

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Professional Education – 120 clock hours, including 10 hours in each of the 8 CDA subject areas
  • Work experience – 480 hours in targeted age setting for CDA credential earning
  • Order Competency Standards book for appropriate setting (Infant-Toddler, Preschool, or Family Child Care) - see ordering link below
  • Family Questionnaires
  • Professional Portfolio

Benefits of CDA

  • Demonstrates competence in the early childhood field
  • Enhances skills with young children
  • Nationally recognized credential
  • Increases career opportunities
  • Recognized by Iowa for quality initiatives like the QRS/IQ4K and IQPPS
  • Recommended by Head Start, National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
  • Can be transferred for college credit at many of Iowa’s community colleges
  • Increases your confidence!

Provider Tools


CDA Resource Links