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The Council for Professional Recognition established the nationally-recognized Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in the 1970s. Childcare professionals who receive CDA credentials work in preschools and family childcare. They also work with infants and toddlers and perform home visits. Michigan childcare providers must possess a CDA credential. CDA training helps ensure that childcare workers provide children with the care and assistance they need for personal growth and development. CDA training programs are offered through many community colleges and other organizations throughout Michigan.
Spend a minimum of 480 hours working with children. Your work experience must take place in a childcare facility or home licensed by the State of Michigan. You must acquire this work experience within a 5-year period.
Enroll in a CDA training program. Take 120 hours of CDA training from a local community college like Grand Rapids Community College or Lansing Community College. Organizations such as the Mi4C Association also offer a CDA training program. Course topics include foundations of early childhood education, child growth, pre-school curriculum and behavior challenges. You’ll receive a certificate upon completion of the program.
Download an initial CDA application packet from the Council for Professional Recognition website (cdacouncil.org). If you will be working with preschool, infant/toddlers or family child care use the “Direct Assessment Application.” Use the “Home Visitor Assessment Application” for other workplaces.
Fill out the CDA application and submit to the address provided. Include a copy of your CDA certificate and the application fee. As of early 2011, the fee is $325.
You must possess a high school diploma or GED.