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Council for Professional Recognition

United States
Council for Professional Recognition

Mission of the Council

The Council for Professional Recognition promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages birth to 5 years old.

Vision of the Council

The Council works to ensure that all professional early childhood educators and caregivers meet the developmental, emotional, and educational needs of our nation’s youngest children.

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential

In keeping with its goal to meet the growing need for qualified early child care and education staff, the Council administers the Child Development Associate® (CDA) National Credentialing Program. The CDA Program is designed to assess and credential early childhood education professionals.

The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education programs – Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family child care, and home visitor programs.

The Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the Competency Standards and other materials used for CDA credentialing, and administers the assessment.
History of the CDA Credential

In the early 1970s, a group of innovative early childhood educators gathered together to think about how to improve the quality of early care and education. The concept for the CDA Credential was born out of those meetings and was initially funded by what was then called the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). After several years of development, the first CDA was awarded in 1975.

In 1985, ACYF entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for the purpose of creating a separate nonprofit organization to administer the CDA Credential. That organization, the Council for Professional Recognition, began administering the CDA on September 1, 1985.

More than 370,000 CDA credentials have been awarded to date, with approximately 18,000 early childhood professionals becoming new CDAs annually.

Education Groups Working to Support D.C. Mandate For Increased Early Childhood Education Credentials

As the District of Columbia takes a national leadership role with its new early childhood workforce requirements, representatives from the District's Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the Council for Professional Recognition, the National League of Cities and…

Vernon College Students Earn Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Council for Professional Recognition (the Council) and Vernon College of Vernon, Texas are supporting Child Development Associate (CDA®) Credential students with new early childhood education (ECE) courses. These classes are to align with the formal ECE training hours required…

Partnership with Frog Street Press to Promote CDA Certification for English and Bilingual Early Childhood Educators in Texas

The Council for Professional Recognition has announced a new partnership with Frog Street Press, LLC, a leading provider of comprehensive early childhood education solutions. Thispartnership is expected to closely align Child Development Associate (CDA®) training and coursework with the Council's…

The Council for Professional Recognition and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Expanding CDA Training

A new strategic partnership between the Council for Professional Recognition (the Council) and the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) will support the state's First Class Pre-K program by recruiting early childhood professionals, who have successfully obtained their National…

New Partnerships With Child Care Aware Of Minnesota And Grand Canyon University Extend Child Development Associate Credential Training

The Council for Professional Recognition is expanding its business partnerships network in two states through new agreements with Child Care Aware of Minnesota and Grand Canyon University (GCU) of Phoenix, Arizona. These two alliances will provide accessible and flexible early…


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