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Child Development Associate (CDA) Preschool Formal Training Hours

What is the Preschool Child Development Associate Credential?

The Preschool Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is a widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

CDAs have knowledge of how to put the CDA Competency Standards into practice and understanding of why those standards help children move with success from one developmental stage to another. Put simply, CDAs know how to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social development of children.

Becoming a CDA is a big commitment, but one that creates confident practitioners with command of today’s best practices for teaching young children.

What does GRCC Provide?

If you are interested in obtaining their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential you can take courses and accrue the formal training hour requirements necessary to apply to the Early Childhood Council for Professional Recognition for direct assessment to earn the CDA Credential.

Upon completion of the formal training hours, GRCC will issue a Certificate of Completion. This signifies the completion of the formal training hours, and is not the actual CDA Credential.

GRCC does not administer this credentialing examination, does not have a role in determining pass-fail criteria, and does not have access to the rates at which students participating in this program pass this exam and achieve this credential.

How long will it take me to complete the formal training hours?

The formal training hours required to apply to the Early Childhood Council for Professional Recognition for direct assessment to earn the CDA Credential can take as few as 3 semesters. You can also work with a faculty advisor to plan out the course schedule so that you can take as little as 1 course at a time.

Courses are available in-person or online to fit your individual needs.

Courses Required:

CD 118 Human Growth & Development (4 Credits)

CD 209 Language & Creative Arts for Preschool (4 Credits)

CD 215 Adult Child Interaction (3 Credits)

CD 229 Math, Science & Technology for Preschool (4 Credits)

CD 180 Cooperative Education in Child Development 1 (3 Credits)

Preschool CDA Formal Training Hours Sample Course Sequence*

First Semester-Winter

Course #

Course Title

Credits

CD 118

Human Growth and Development

4

CD 215

Adult-Child Interaction

3

 

Second-Summer

Course #

Course Title

Credits

CD 209

Language & Creative Arts for Preschoolers

4

CD 229

Math, Science & Technology For Preschoolers

4

 

Third Semester-Fall

Course #

Course Title

Credits

CD 180

Cooperative Education in Child Development 1

3

*Course schedules are subject to change at the discretion of the college.

Is there financial aid available?

Grants, Student Loans & Work Study

To be considered for financial aid through GRCC, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (www.fafsa.ed.gov) form and include GRCC's school code 002267. The application is free and will be submitted to the Department of Education.

After applying for financial aid through the FAFSA, the Department of Education will then determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This EFC determines eligibility for various federal and state financial aid programs. The Federal Processor will provide you with a Student Aid Report (SAR). This report usually takes 7 to 10 days to receive electronically. Please review the SAR and make any necessary corrections. GRCC's Financial Aid Office will receive the Student Aid Report electronically.

GRCC Scholarships

Scholarships are available through the GRCC Foundation Office. Application forms can be obtained from the GRCC Financial Aid Office, 156 Main Building or online at www.grcc.edu/financialaid starting in January of every year. Forms are due by March 15 of every year.

TEACH Scholarships

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood MICHIGAN is a statewide scholarship program designed to help child care center teaching staff, preschool teachers, family child care providers, group home owners, center directors, and administrators meet their professional development goals, while continuing their current employment in regulated early childhood and school age care settings.

You may be eligible for a TEACH scholarship if you:

  • Work a minimum of 20 hours per week in a licensed child care center or group home or registered family home.
  • Earn $14.25 or less per hour as a teacher, assistant, or aide.
  • Earn $15.00 or less per hour after expenses as a family home provider or a group home owner.
  • Earn $15.00 or less per hour as a director.
  • Work for a center or group home that agrees to sponsor you.

For more information about the TEACH Early Childhood MICHIGAN Scholarships, go to http://www.miaeyc.org/TEACH.htm or contact TEACH at (866) 648-3224

How do I apply to GRCC?

To apply to GRCC, you can visit us in person in the Enrollment Center, located at 143 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. You can also apply online at https://selfserv01.grcc.edu/ec/admissions.jsp. Once you have been accepted to the college and receive your student ID, you are ready to enroll in classes.

How do I register for these classes?

To enroll in the classes you need to obtain the formal training hour requirements to apply for the CDA, you can visit us in person in the Enrollment Center, located at 143 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. You are also welcome to meet with an academic advisor in the Child Development & Education Department. We are located in room 266 of the Main building located at 143 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. We can also be reached via phone and email. The department ESP, Staci Dever can be reached at (616) 234-3380 or sdever@grcc.edu. The Program Director, Rebecca Brinks, can be reached at (616) 234-4084 or bbrinks@grcc.edu

Once I’ve completed the training hours, how do I apply for the CDA?

One of the courses required to meet the formal training hour requirements is CD 180. In this course, your instructor will work with you to complete your professional portfolio, family interviews, and application packet.

Once this is complete, you will identify a Council recognized Professional Development Specialist who will complete your verification visit, and submit your application along with your $425 Assessment Fee to the Council for Professional Recognition.

For specific steps and additional information on completing your application for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, refer to http://www.cdacouncil.org/ or contact the Council at (800) 424-4310.