Child Development Associate

Child Development Associate Specialized Diploma/CDA (9 credits)

Designed for students who need an entry-level nationally-recognized credential.

CDA specialized diploma prepares students for assessment by the Council for Professional Recognition for entry-level positions in early care and education including Head Start.

The CDA Specialized Diploma consists of three courses. Upon successful completion of the specialized diploma you will receive 9 credits toward an ECE Certificate or Associate Degree. The courses:

  • Must be taken in sequence with the same instructor
  • Must be sections specifically offered for the CDA Specialized Diploma

CDA sections of the following courses are needed:

  • EARL 106 Early Childhood Development and Learning
  • EARL 217 Child, Family and Community
  • EARL 244 Early Childhood Profession

Online as CDA

CDA is an online program with courses designed to provide flexibility in your ability to access course content, submit assignments, and interact with your instructor and fellow students. Learning occurs through highly interactive and thought-provoking real-life, computer-based scenarios facilitated by highly qualified faculty.

It is a wonderful, new, convenient way for you to get started on a fulfilling career.

The program is now available through contact training at your site. If you are interested in on-site training, please contact us.

Are you looking to renew your CDA Certification?

CDA Scholarships

The states listed below provide financial assistance for individuals to obtain a CDA Credential through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Funding may be available for the CDA assessment fee and other costs of earning or renewing the Credential. Please contact the appropriate agency in your state for information about eligibility requirements and funding availability.

For more information on CDA Scholarships here.

Unfortunately, not all states participate in this program. If your state is not listed, we suggest you contact the child care licensing agency in your state or your local resource and referral agency. They are excellent sources of information about free or low-cost CDA training.

Financial assistance can only be used in our semester start option.

State Licensing

If you are a Northampton Community College  student living outside of Pennsylvania or intending to complete an internship outside of the state in a NCC program leading to professional licensure, you should review requirements on the state board website to make sure that the program qualifies.

Licensure requirements vary from state to state and you may require additional authorization from the professional licensing agency in that state. Participating in a program from outside of Pennsylvania, if not properly authorized by that state's professional licensing board, could result in loss of licensing eligibility. If you need help or have questions, please contact the Program Director for more information.