Obtaining Your CDA

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. The CDA provides a foundation for building the essential competencies needed by entry-level early childhood professionals. The CDA process can take about 3 to 6 months to complete and includes multiple steps, such as earning 120 instructional hours, gaining 480 hours of work experience, developing a professional portfolio, an observation by a designated Professional Development (PD) Specialist, and demonstrating content knowledge through a CDA exam.

PDIS offers the CDA Credential Tracker to support early childhood professionals in tracking their progress towards earning the CDA. Early childhood professionals who are employed at a licensed child development facility in the District of Columbia (DC) can earn the 120 hours of instruction required for the CDA online via Quorum.

CDA Tracker

Below is a screenshot of the CDA Tracker:

CDA Tracker

Resources for Earning Your CDA

Face-to-Face Resources

E-learning Resources

DC early education professionals can utilize Quorum to obtain the 120 coursework hours needed to attain the CDA, for free! Follow-up with your Center Director/Owner for registration. To contact Quorum directly, email registrar@Qassist.com or call (404) 325-2225

For information on additional CDA programs, please navigate to www.osse.dc.gov/eceresources and click on Assistant Teacher, Home Caregiver, or Associate Home Caregiver.

CDA Renewal

The CDA renewal process is explained in the visual below. The CDA Renewal Procedures Guide can be found by visiting the Council for Professional Recognition webpage here.

CDA Renewal Process