If you are considering working in a child care facility in Georgia, you may want to obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential through the Council for Professional Recognition. Although it's not a requirement for you to work as a caregiver or an aide, the CDA credential--in addition to meeting other requirements--can help you advance into positions such as lead teacher or even director, according to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. In fact, the Council For Professional Recognition reports on its website that almost all states in the nation use the CDA credential as part of their child-care licensing standards.
Obtain at least 120 hours of child-care education through a Georgia post-secondary institution or by working at a Georgia child-care facility. Search for colleges and universities in the state that offer CDA training or early childhood education programs on the CDA Council's National Directory of Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Institutions.
Work as a child-care provider as part of your clinical requirements for the formal education program, or as an employee. Obtain at least 480 hours of experience providing care to children in a Georgia child-care facility.
Buy the appropriate CDA application package based on your experience through the CDA Council For Professional Recognition website. Choose from the Home Visitor, Family Child Care, Infant/Toddler or Preschool packets.
Fill out the CDA application and complete the Professional Resource File. Use this form to document your child-care experience and training.
Have parents or guardians of children in the Georgia facility for which you work complete the Parent Opinion Questionnaires, which will allow them to evaluate your performance.
Ask your early childhood program adviser or work supervisor to complete the CDA Assessment Observation Instrument so that your skills can be assessed according to the CDA Council's guidelines.
Mail the application, required supporting documents and assessment fee to the Council for Professional Recognition at:
Council for Professional Recognition 2460 16th St. NW Washington, DC 20009
Schedule an on-site visit at the Georgia location where you have been trained or employed with a representative from the Council.
Participate in the on-site verification visit by completing the two-hour Early Childhood Studies Review examination and the oral interview designed to assess your child-care knowledge. Obtain your official CDA credentials once the Council for Professional Recognition approves your application materials and verification visit performance.