Child Development Associate Certificate Program (CDA)

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA Assessment and has been awarded the CDA Credential. She meets 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 Credential is awarded to individuals who are working in, or wish to work in any of three childcare settings:

  • Center-based, for which Candidates receive endorsements to work with infants and toddlers or preschool children
  • Family Child Care
  • Home Visitor

In order to complete the CDA Assessment, the individual must have worked in a childcare setting for a minimum of 480 hours within the previous 5 years.  It is possible to complete the coursework offered here before the completion of these mandatory hours.

For information about the CDA Assessment, please go to the website for the Council for Professional Recognition at

Please Note: Students must be 18 years of age and have a high school or GED diploma in order to enroll in the CDA program.
Reimbursement: Anyone who is a member of a Keystone Stars site can apply for a 90% tuition refund and the $325 assessment fee for the CDA assessment. Please Note: Reimbursement is subject to the availability of funds. Tuition vouchers are available on the Key website under professional development.

The same book and packet will be used for Part I and Part II.
A materials list will be mailed prior to first class, approximate cost $90 for text and workbook, $23 for assessment packet.
For further information please contact the Director of Continuing Education at (215)968-8104 or email

FREE Information Session
XSMCE 3230 C01/ Next Scheduled Session: Fall 2015

CDA Part I

These first 60 hours of the CDA program will focus on Professionalism in Childcare; principles of child development and learning; and the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of children and infants through pre-school, and observation and growth and development of children from birth through 8 years.  

Hybrid Online/ $365/ WSMCE 3231 C20/ 
Next Offering: Fall 2015, Brigitte Hix, M.A. PQAS Certified
Approved Hours: 60 (Act 48, CDA)



The second 60 hours of the CDA program will prepare you to take the national CDA assessment, and will focus on Planning a Safe, Healthy, Learning Environment; Observation of Young Children; Working with Families; and Program Management. This program is non-sequential; CDA Part I is not required to register for this course. 

Hybrid Online/ $365/ WSMCE 3232 C20/ Next Offering: Fall 2015, Brigitte Hix, M.A. PQAS Certified Approved Hours: 60 (Act 48, CDA)

CDA Renewal

Teachers, if you wish to renew your CDA Credential you must receive a minimum of 4.5 CEUs for 45 additional hours of coursework in early childhood education. This must be completed within three years of receiving your initial Credential, and every five years thereafter. For further information, please check the Council for Professional Recognition’s website at