Do Educational Requirements Matter?

The Council for Professional Recognition lists either a high school diploma or a GED as the first requirement for applying for a CDA. However, the Council never verifies whether or not an applicant does indeed have this. Neither the candidate’s training agency nor the PD Specialist is required to check either. As a result, countless persons have been awarded a CDA in spite of not meeting this requirement. In some states, having a CDA enables a person to hold a lead caregiver position. Theoretically, then, someone can be a lead caregiver in a child care program, having a 4th grade education (the grade at which someone could probably read and write). Is this acceptable? Is the Council right in saying that verifying a person’s education only throws roadblocks in front of those trying to earn a CDA? Or does this lack of verification dilute the value of the CDA Credential? Should the Council remove the requirement if it is not going to be enforced? What do YOU think?


8 Responses to “Do Educational Requirements Matter?”

  1. 1 Susan Maggi
    January 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I think it should stay!!! And why not have them hand in a copy of their high school diploma . You must however take in to consideration the year / time they graduated from high school as the world has change in many ways. Also as long as they are continue their education requirements / training and fulfill all CDA requirement. I Feel they earn and worked hard for this. Thank you

  2. 2 Rachel
    February 11, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I teach many immigrant/refugees who do not have access to their diplomas. Often, these students hold advanced degrees from their own countries. This requirement is definitely a roadblock to those students. And after having taught the CDA program for over 8 years, I can tell you that there is no way anyone with a 4th grade education could adequately complete the professional portfolio, let alone read the textbook. I applaud the council’s stand on not requiring the PD specialist to check diplomas and their overall commitment to encouraging candidates to continue their education.

  3. 3 Verlana Cooper
    October 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    What is needed to convert a preschool CDA to infant

    • 4 Deb Pierce
      October 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      If you already have a Preschool CDA, in order to now earn an Infant/Toddler CDA, you will need to go through the process again. You can use some of the training hours you used for your Preschool CDA, in addition to hours specifically dealing with infants/toddlers. You will have to produce a new Professional Portfolio, be observed and participate in the Verification Visit by a CDA Professional Development Specialist.

    October 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I have a quick question,
    If I am trying to pursue a CDA, It says I need to meet the requirement and work in a Child Care Facility for 300+ hours, Most Facilities in my area (PA) Wont even hire you unless you ALREADY HAVE a CDA, How am I supposed to start these hours, If I am not currently working in a Certified Facility!!??

    • 6 Deb Pierce
      June 18, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Many centers will hire you if you are actively working on a CDA. You have to get started on your training and tell them that.

  5. 7 Rose
    September 13, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I did my CDA classes in 2013 and have been working with children for more than 15 years now. Will that training still be accepted or will I need to take classes again? I actually have my CDA portfolio ready but didn’t get to pursue it. Another question is if I don’t have my own classroom because I move around to different classes will that be a problem when the PD Specialist for the verification visit?

    • 8 Deb Pierce
      September 13, 2017 at 2:10 am

      You can still use the same training hours, as there is no time limit on that. However, the Portfolio has to be re-done to reflect the particular group of children you are working with (and with whom you will be observed) for this CDA. Your director needs to allow you to be in one particular room at least 2 days a week. That will be the room where you are observed. You will need to get to know the children and their families better and also how the room functions before you have your observation. The families will also need to complete the questionnaires and this would be impossible if they only saw you once in a while and were unfamiliar with your work with their children. If your director truly wants you to be successful in earning your CDA, she will accommodate you in this regard until after your Verification Visit. They you can go back to being a “floater” in your program… or look for a new position elsewhere as a lead teacher!

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