Professional Development



Scholarship Program


Key Partners

Child Development Associate (CDA)

What is a CDA?

“A Child Development Associate (CDA) 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 works with parents and other adults to nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework.” – The Council for Professional Recognition

.A CDA is someone who has demonstrated competence in working with children and parents according to the CDA Competency Goals in a center-based, home visitor or family child care program


Who administers the CDA credentialing program?

The Council for Professional Recognition administers the CDA credentialing program as a national effort to improve the quality of child care. Founded in 1985, the Council is a nonprofit organization. It was created to improve the professional status of early care and education practitioners. The Council’s mission is to emphasize the importance and increase the recognition of professionals who care for children from birth through five years of age in child care centers, family child care homes, and as home visitors.

Council for Professional Recognition
2460 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009-3547

Telephone: 800-424-4310 or 202-265-9090
Fax: 202-265-9161 -


The Credentialing Process

The credentialing process applies to the following settings and endorsements:

Eligibility for the CDA/ the CDA process

(Preschool, Infant/Toddler and Family Child Care Credentials ONLY)

STEP ONE:  Anytime before application

STEP TWO:  Within three years before application

STEP THREE:  Within six months before application

STEP FOUR:  Application

STEP FIVE: within 6 months of Council approval of completed application, the Candidate

STEP SIX:  After Verification Visit and CDA Exam

Talk to the staff at Maine Roads to Quality.  We can help you assess your training needs and navigate the credentialing process.  If you work outside the home, talk to your employer about your interest in earning a CDA credential to make plans for the required verification visit at your work place.


CDA Renewal

Beginning on June 1, 2013, all CDA Credentials awarded will be valid for three years from the award date. A CDA Credential may only be renewed for the original setting, age-level endorsement, and specialization. The purpose of the CDA renewal is to ensure that Child Development Associates are maintaining current knowledge and skills in their work with young children and families.
All CDA renewal candidates must meet the following criteria – they must have:


For more more information, contact:

Training Specialist: Pamela Soucy

Maine has developed statewide credentialing options for practitioners who wish to focus their training, coursework, and professional experience on the delivery of care and education to a specific age group or population. Please visit the Credentials page to learn more about Maine Roads to Quality credentials.