Helping People….Changing Lives

The Chautauqua Child Care Council is now offering the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and mentorship for individuals who work with children.

Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Child Care Council offers a comprehensive training opportunity (100 hours) to assist candidates in obtaining their CDA credential.


What Is a Child Development Associate (CDA)?

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential. CDAs are 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 in a child development framework.

A CDA performs according to the CDA Competency Goals in center-based, home visitor or family child care programs. To date, there are more than 200,000 CDAs in all 50 United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Earning the CDA Credential has many advantages, including motivating caregivers toward continuing education and providing a platform for professional and career opportunities. Many view the CDA Credential as an instrument for career advancement in the early childhood care and education profession. The Council works to ensure that it is a credible and valid credential recognized by the profession as a vital part of a coordinated system of professional development.

To earn the CDA credential, a person must successfully complete the national credentialing process. The CDA Credentialing Process determines a candidate’s demonstrated ability to meet the specific needs of young children and their families, and to work with other adults in a professional capacity.

Typically, the CDA Credential is earned in one of three areas: Infant/Toddler, Preschool, or Family Child Care. Though less common, a credential may also be earned in Home Visiting. The CDA Credential covers the age groups of 0-5 years. CDA does not address school age development.

Advantages of Earning Your CDA

Pursuing a CDA credential helps you grow your skills and knowledge. It also demonstrates to parents, your employer and others that you are a well-prepared, early childhood professional.

A CDA Credential is portable state to state and is a recognized hiring qualification for many early childhood positions. Earning a CDA can help you build your skills for the job you have the now and also help you advance your early childhood career.

As a result of an increase in demand from many public and private employers for qualified trained staff, the number of child care providers applying for the CDA Credential has grown to nearly 15,000 annually. Furthermore, 49 states plus the District of Columbia incorporate the CDA Credential into their child care center licensing regulations. Form more information on the CDA credential visit the Council for Professional Recognition at

For more information on CDA classes and Advisement through the Chautauqua Child Care Council,
Contact Susan Marker at 


716-661-9430 ext. 2295

New CDA 2.0

The Council for Professional Recognition launched the new Child Development Associates credential (CDA 2.0) on June 1st. We want to make sure that all credentialed persons or those seeking to become credentialed are aware of the details involved. Here are some highlights of this new process:

* The five-year limit on the 120 training hours will be removed. Any training or education took by Candidates, at any point in their career, which falls within the required Eight Subject Areas, will be considered eligible.

* The five-year limit on the 480 hours of experience working with young children will be reduced to three years. This change is being made to ensure that work experience was completed more recently, thus helping the Candidate to be better able to pass the new CDA Exam and Direct Observation.

* Transcripts and/or Certificates of Training will no longer be sent to the Council for review. In the the new model, the CDA Professional Development Specialist will review these documents as part of the Verification Visit.

* In the new model, Direct Observations will be performed by the CDA Professional Development Specialist during the Verification Visit rather than by an Advisor prior to application, as is currently practiced.

* CDA Professional Development Specialists will be chosen by the Candidate via a new online National Directory or by personal choice, rather than being assigned by the Council.

For more information about CDA, CDA Classes, Mentoring, and Advisement or to contact a Child Development  Assessment Specialist, call Beth Faulkner at the Chautauqua Child Care Council.  

716-661-9430 ext. 2295