What is the Child Development Associate® (CDA) National Credentialing Program?


The CDA National Credentialing Program is a professional development opportunity for early educators working with children ages birth to 5 years old to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities in the early childhood education field. The CDA credentialing program assesses Candidates using multiple sources evidence, including an exam, observation and professional portfolio with resources and competency statements prepared by the Candidate. There are four CDA settings:

  • PRESCHOOL: 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 ages 3 through 5 years old.
  • INFANT-TODDLER: 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 the age of 3 years old.
  • FAMILY CHILD CARE: 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. Family child care settings are also eligible in localities where there is no regulation of family child care
  • HOME VISITOR: 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. Candidates for a Home Visitor credential follow a slightly different assessment process than what is listed below. See the Council's website for more information about obtaining a Home Visitor CDA.



KCCTO CDA Resource Center


CDA Training Track - First Time CDA Candidates

The purpose of the KCCTO CDA Training Track is to provide support and guidance for CDA Candidates as they work to meet the professional education requirements set forth in the Council for Professional Recognition’s CDA Credentialing process. Specifically, the KCCTO CDA Training Track assists providers in:

  • Determining what previous professional development/education applies
  • Selecting additional professional development/education to meet minimum requirements
  • Planning a course schedule

Any Kansas resident may apply for KCCTO’s CDA Training Track. However, prior to beginning course work, applicants must have:

  • Successfully completed Orientation to the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
  • Submitted the one-time, $120 CDA Training Track payment



How to Register for the CDA Training Track

Due to a high volume of applicants, the CDA Training Track is not currently taking new applications. For additional information, please contact Haley Anderson, CDA Resource Specialist by email or by calling 800.227.3578.  

Online CDA Training Track Application


CDA Renewal

Do you need assistance obtaining the 45 clock hours of early childhood education training for your CDA Renewal? For more information about how KCCTO can support you in the CDA Renewal Process, contact Haley Anderson, CDA Resource Specialist by email or by calling 800.227.3578.  



CDA Scholarship

If you have fulfilled the 120 hours of training required by the CDA Council and have completed your professional portfolio, you could be eligible for a CDA Scholarship through KCCTO. This scholarship pays the $425 application fee required by the CDA Council.  Scholarships are limited to Kansas residents.

Contact Haley Anderson, CDA Resource Specialist, for assistance regarding KCCTO's CDA Scholarship. PDF versions of the scholarship applications are available below.