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CDA


The Child Development Associate Proram is designed to provide students with a variety of experiences to enable them to build the practical skills to successfully become a Child Development Associate (CDA).  We Care, Inc. provides a comprehensive curriculum for the CDA candidate designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to help children develop skills, friendships, build self-esteem and to become productive achievers.

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential. A CDA recipient is able to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework. . 

Earning the CDA Credential has many advantages, including motivating child care providers toward continuing education and providing a platform for professional and career opportunities. Many view the CDA Credential as an instrument for career advancement in the early childhood care and education profession. 

As a result of an increase in demand from many public and private employers for qualified trained staff, the number of child care providers applying for the CDA Credential has grown to nearly 15,000 annually. Furthermore, Texas incorporates the CDA Credential into their childcare center licensing regulations to become a director of a licensed child care facility. 

There are three phases to successfully becoming a CDA. 

   I. Field Work

 II. Course Work

III. Final Evaluation

 I.  Field Work - The CDA candidate is involved in guided field work experiences in a child care setting.  

II. Course Work - Offered by We Care, Inc.  Designed to enhance the field work phase work of study.  The 120 course focuses on the application of basic principles of teaching and caring for young children and their families. 

III. Final Evaluation - Occurs in the CDA candidates work setting or field placement.  The CDA candidate is expected to organize and practice the cohesive skills developed and refined during the first two phases.

Candidates for the CDA Credential must be observed working as lead teacher in a setting that meets the following criteria. ( Note : Candidates may be employed or work on a volunteer basis in the child care setting):

A center-based preschool setting is a state-approved child development center where a Candidate can be observed working with a group of at least eight children, all of whom are aged 3 through 5 years. In addition, a center-based program must have: (1) at least 10 children enrolled in the program (not necessarily in the Candidate's group), and (2) at least two caregivers working with the children on a regular basis.

A center-based infant/toddler setting is a state-approved child development center where a Candidate can be observed working with a group of at least three children, all of whom are under age 3. In addition, a center-based program must have: (1) at least 10 children enrolled in the program (not necessarily the Candidate's group), and (2) at least two caregivers working with the children on a regular basis.

A family child care setting is a family child care home where a Candidate can be observed working with at least two children 5 years old or younger who are not related to the Candidate by blood or marriage. The setting must meet at least the minimum level of applicable state and/or local regulations. 

A home visitor setting is an established program of home visits (to families with children 5 years old or younger) that supports parents in meeting the needs of their young children. In this setting, regular home visits are the primary method of program delivery.

A bilingual setting is a child development program that has specific goals for achieving bilingual development in children; where two languages are consistently used in daily activities; and where parents are helped to understand the goals and to support children's bilingual development.

A special education child development setting also qualifies as an eligible setting for CDA assessment. The program must meet the other criteria described above. 

CDA candidates who successfully complete all phases of the program will receive a Child Development Associate Credential with a specific setting and age-level endorsement(center-based/0-3 or infant/toddler, center-based/ 3-5 or preschool, family home/0-5, or home visitor based) .

Course:     Start Date:   April 3, 2010     Length:   12 weeks     Hours:   9am - 2pm

Tuition:  $525    -or-  Payment plan:   $200 down payment then $175 a month plus a $25 administrative fee on each installment payment.  To avoid late enrollment fee, downpayment due two weeks prior to the first day of class.  Monthly payments due by the 2nd Saturday of the month.  Late fee $30.  Candidate maybe automatically withdrawn if payment is 30 days past due.