How the CDA Certification Benefits Early Childhood Teachers
Obtaining a Child Development Associate certification is nearly a requirement now for most who work in early childhood education, but there are some areas where the requirement is still fairly new. However, the benefits of the certification outweigh the extra time it takes to receive it.
Educators can be granted the CDA certification based on the kind of facility where work. The CDA certification offers a number of benefits to those who make it through the program, as it is based on a core set of standards that measures competence and is transferable across the nation.
CDA Certification Shown to Improve Confidence, Success
The certification program builds confidence in those who will be going on to work directly with children. When the certification was first introduced to California in the 1980s, the general thought was educators already working in the system with the state permit would not value what the CDA certification had to offer, as they had been working for years without it.
But when all was said and done, the newly certified educators who responded to questionnaires and interviews found their professional self-esteem had improved, regardless of their prior levels of education. It also seemed to improve the development of their careers within Head Start, according to “The CDA: Its History and Professional Value” master’s thesis from California State University, Hayward.
So with higher confidence and competence, early childhood educators with the CDA certification can go forth prepared, ready to face the challenges that await them. Whether they decide to go into Head Start, per-kindergarten, infant-toddler, family child care or home visitor programs, the certification will help them handle future situations.
Helping Parental Peace of Mind
The universal nature of the CDA certification is its best selling point. Most states recognize the certification as a benchmark for employment – often even a requirement – as it is widely renowned for helping early childhood educators meet their teaching goals. One of the most important aspects of the certification process is the visitation – representatives will come check out how an applicant responds and acts in a classroom or child care setting.
Another benefit of the program is that it can give parents even more peace of mind when they drop their child off or bring an educator into their home, as many of the CDA components relate to areas such as health and safety in the teaching environment. That extra level of assurance that allows parents to entrust their child to you can make all the difference, as most parents only want the most qualified people to interact with their children.
Who Qualifies to Take the CDA Certification
Candidates wishing to take the exam to receive this certification must be:
- At least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- 480 hours experience working in child care
- 120 hours of formal education/12 college units in child care (within the last five years)
- Bilingual teachers must be able to prove their proficiency in the second language
- Pay the fees to take the exam