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Child care providers residing in the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands or Guam are eligible to become a Child Development Associate, or CDA. Possessing a CDA credential provides individuals with opportunities for professional growth in the fields of early-childhood care and education. Valid for three years following its award date, a CDA credential can be renewed in five-year increments. Renewal ensures that CDAs possess the most up-to-date information and skills.
Buy the CDA renewal packet, which covers all four credential types. Order the packet online or via phone, fax or mail. The latter option requires filling out an order form. As of 2009, the packet cost $13, plus an additional $5 in shipping and handling fees.
Provide documented proof of a current first aid certificate issued by the Red Cross or another organization; a minimum of 4.5 continuing education units (CEU) or course of three credit-hours in an area such as mental-health counseling or early-childhood education/child development; membership in a local or national early-childhood professional organization; and professional experience of 80 or more hours during the past year of working with young children or their families.
Prepare the “Letter of Recommendation” form from the renewal packet. Consult the instructions, which are included in the packet, for finding an early childhood education professional to complete the form.
Mail your renewal application packet to the address indicated in the instructions. Enclose payment for the renewal fee, which was listed as $50 in 2009. Upon receipt, the Council of Professional Recognition will review your application. The council will notify you if your renewal application is incomplete; otherwise, it will issue the renewal.
Keep in mind that you may only renew a CDA credential for the original specialization, setting, endorsement and age level.
Candidates earn CEUs for study completed as part of an organized continuing-education experience. One CEU equals ten hours of study.