Whether you’re just starting out in the early childhood field or you’ve been teaching for years, chances are you’ve heard the term “CDA” at least a few times before.
The Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) is the most widely accepted and acknowledged credential in the early childhood industry. When an educator earns their CDA, it demonstrates that they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide high-quality child care. But having added credibility isn’t the only reason to earn your CDA.
I’m Leslie Coleman, the education director for ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), the No. 1 online trainer of early childhood professionals — and a Comprehensive CDA Gold Standard provider. We’ve had over 19,000 students graduate from our CDA and other certification programs and have seen firsthand the impact a CDA can have on an educator’s career.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why you should consider earning (or renewing) your CDA:
It can help you grow professionally.
As with any form of professional development, earning your CDA is a great way to invest in yourself and your future. Whether you’re looking to move into a senior educator role at your center or you’re hoping to work in a related field like education consulting, having a credential can help open up a number of opportunities that might not otherwise be available to you.
You’ll feel more confident in the classroom.
Earning (and maintaining) your CDA is a great way to sharpen your skills and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in early childhood education. It can also help you feel more confident in your skills and abilities inside of the classroom. That added confidence will not only help you teach your students more effectively, but it can also increase your productivity levels and help you stand out from your peers.
It can increase your pay.
Teachers with CDAs tend to earn more than other educators (in fact, they typically make 2% more than the national average). Plus, many states and/or programs offer financial incentives and bonuses for educators who put in the time to earn their credential.
You’ll have better parent-teacher relationships.
Having a CDA can also help you attract new families to your program as parents will feel more comfortable knowing they’re leaving their child with someone who has received the highest level of training possible. Plus, when parents see that you’ve invested time and money into becoming a better educator for their children, it can help strengthen the relationships you have with them.
You will have the knowledge, experience, and confidence to shine in leadership positions.
To achieve your CDA, you will be required to demonstrate your strengths in a wide range of skills. In addition to child development, curriculum, and family relationships, you will also focus on growing as an early childhood professional. CDA candidates are encouraged to engage with the larger early childhood community by participating in child care associations and other professional organizations. Having the CDA experience under your belt will give you the knowledge and confidence to fully engage with other professionals in the field, and maybe even take on a leadership role within the organization.
These are only a sampling of the many benefits that come from earning your CDA certification. To learn more (and see how you can get yours online through us), click here.
Already have a CDA but looking to renew it? Click here to take advantage of our limited-time offer and get your renewal training for just $149 with promo code “RenewalAmnesty21” now through 8/31/21.
Leslie Coleman has over 25 years of experience in the early childhood education (ECE) field. She has held positions ranging from preschool teacher to professional development consultant for ECE professionals. Her training content is used to help educators reflect on and make enhancements to their interactions with children and families.