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Mel Gravely

The CDA is still Alive (and Relevant)!

A Guest Post By:
Dr. Marsha McLean
Building Blocks Learning, LLC

The Child Development Associate Credential, respectfully known as the CDA, is designed to prepare individuals to work with young children and to improve their knowledge, competency, skills, and classroom practices in early childhood education. The CDA has been around for about 30 years, and is known as the gateway credential for Head Start teaching staff. Once they completed the CDA, they often went on to earn their Associates degree and then the Bachelors.

Recently, I was conducting training at a child care program, and one of the participants said, “The CDA is dead! Nobody needs that anymore, the standards call for more education. We need to go beyond the CDA, so we can keep up with the latest research in ECE.”

I agree with what she said, we need to go beyond the CDA. I also agree we need to keep up with the latest research in ECE. Further, I agree the standards call for more and it is up to us as early childhood professionals to answer the call and continue to pursue education. My point of disagreement, however, is that the CDA is dead! Actually, the CDA is more alive than ever.

In fact, the Head Start Act of 2007 mandated that by September 30, 2013, teacher assistants working in the Head Start classrooms have a CDA. Programs are now encouraging teacher assistants and volunteers to have a CDA, before they will hire them to work in the early childhood classroom. Think about the CDA for your parents in the program.

Consider the benefits of the CDA for parents and for the program:

  • It’s a great way to help them learn about parenting
  • It’s a great way to engage them in a new career
  • It’s a great way to build a pool of qualified substitutes

BBLC logo Building Blocks Learning, LLC (BBLC) offers an Online CDA course.

The BBLC Online CDA course is:

  • Accessible 24/7
  • Compatible with all mobile devices- smartphone, iPad, Android tablet
  • Self-paced; so it will fit any schedule
  • Built on coaching support- you have access to a personal CDA Coach;
  • Beyond the required 120 hours; the CDA requirements such as: specific content areas; the Professional Resource File; the Autobiography; the Competency Statements; the Family Questionnaires; are all embedded into the Online CDA Course
  • Designed to prep you for your CDA Verification Visit, classroom observation, Oral Interview, and the CDA Exam
  • Assess your program resources today to determine how many parents you may want to invest in as qualified substitutes and who may be eligible to enroll in the BBLC Online CDA Course.

The BBLC Online CDA Course is right for:

  • Those who have a high school diploma; but no formal ECE credential
  • Those who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than ECE
  • Those who may have earned their degree outside of the USA

The CDA is a mark of professionalism and gives assurance that you are a competent individual who works with young children. The BBLC CDA is manageable, reliable, transferable, and affordable. BBLC offers the Infant-Toddler, Preschool, Home Visitor, or Family Child Care CDA. For more information, visit the BBLC website at

The preceding blog is a guest post by a trusted partner of The Gravely Group. If you’d like to submit a guest blog for consideration, please send us an email.

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  1. Cherrye S. Vasquez, Ph.D. says:

    This is a great article. I loved it when people who worked at my Daycare at their CDA credentials. It appeared to me they were better prepared workers and realize the importance of adhering to Day Care regulations. This made me happy and I felt comfortable with them.

    No CDS is not dead. It is very much alive and a great stepping stone in which to climb and build from

    Again — This is a great article.

    Thank you –

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