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Assessment Requirements
Be 18 years of age or older. Hold a high school diploma or GED. Have 480 hours of experience working with children within the past five years. Have 120 clock hours of formal child care education within the past five years. The 120 clock hours of education must be documented, with no fewer than 10 hours in each of the following content areas:
Planning a safe, healthy environment to invite learning;
Steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development;
Positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development;
Strategies to establish productive relationships with families;
Strategies to manage an effective program operation;
Maintaining a commitment to professionalism;
Observing and recording children’s behavior;
Principles of child development and learning;
The requirement for formal child care education may be met through participation in the wide variety of training available in the field, including in-service. Training obtained at conferences or from individual consultants is not acceptable. While the formal education hours can be for credit or noncredit, the hours must be under the auspices of an agency or organization with expertise in early childhood teacher preparation. The agency or organization must provide verification of the Candidate’s education in the form of a transcript, certificate, or letter.

Bilingual Candidates must meet the above requirements and be able to speak, read, and write well enough in both English and the other language required in their job. They must understand both languages and be understood by children and adults.
Documentation of Competence
Center-based and Family Child Care CDA Candidates must submit documents that verify their competence in early care and education. These include:
A Professional Resource File: A collection of reference materials related to Candidate’s work. Parent Opinion Questionnaires: Feedback from parents with children in the Candidate’s classroom or family child care home. The CDA Assessment Observation Instrument:Recorded observations of the Candidate’s skills while working with children and families as a primary caregiver. An Oral Interview: An interview conducted by a Council-trained Representative to evaluate the Candidate’s skills and knowledge of good early child care practices. A Written Assessment: A two-hour, multiple-choice examination administered by the Council Representative.

More information is available at the CDA Council website