Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential


Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most widely recognized national credential in early childhood education. It is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement. The program’s purpose is to enhance the quality of early child care by defining, evaluating, and recognizing the competence of early child care professionals across the country.

Obtaining your Child Development Associate (CDA) credential

The process for obtaining your CDA includes the following components.

  • 120 clock hours of formal training in specific areas. Indiana AEYC's T.E.A.C.H. program is a good place to start for face-to-face CDA classes. If you're interested in online classes, see below for more information about Quorum.
  • A portfolio
  • Family questionnaires
  • A verification visit
  • An online exam

Depending on your learning style and availability, there are a few different options for coursework: face-to-face, online, and independent study.

For more details about the specific process and requirements, visit the CDA Council’s website

Additional Guidance

The good news? There are wide variety of organizations to help support your in your CDA journey. The bad news? Sometimes it’s hard to know where to go next! Contact us for guidance to the people who can best help you with your specific need.






Online training through Quorum

We have a partnership with Quorum Learning to help you get the training you need in a format that’s easy and convenient for you. Even better? The membership only costs $79.95, which is a $10 discount from their regular prices! Make sure to enter 190965 in the Discount Code field when you register.

Here’s what Quorum provides:

  • 24/7 access to eLearning courses
  • 160+ hours of available courses from which you can choose your 120 hours
  • Courses in English and Spanish
  • CDA Gold-Standard content, created in conjunction with Kaplan Early Learning
  • Self-paced, interactive courses that include games, audio, quizzes, reflective writing, and online knowledge assessments
  • Discussion boards that allow you to connect with others who are studying the same topics

Note: Child Care Answers does not provide support with creating your portfolio. Quorum offers coursework to guide you in this process.

If you need advice about the CDA process, questions answered about CDA topic areas and appropriate coursework, or technical support with their platform, Quorum’s support staff can help.

Contact Quorum at 404.325.2225 or 


How to Register

  1. Go to the Annual Quorum Memberships page on their website.
  2. Click the Add to Cart button under Quorum Individual Member.  Note: The $79.95 discount will not appear until the next step.
  3. Type Q11491 in the Discount Codes box, then click Apply.  
  4. Click the Proceed to Checkout button.
  5. Click Register to create an account.
  6. Type Child Care Answers in the Company field, otherwise, you may not receive the $10 discount.
Online training and Independent study

Looking for a different online option? Check out our Online CDA Resource Guide for a list of programs, their features, and contact information.


Renewing or Updating Your Expired CDA

First, congratulations on obtaining your CDA! All CDA credentials are valid for three years from the date of the award.  Keep all documentation for trainings and other professional development from the date you earned your credential. We suggest you start the process of renewing about six months before your credential expires.  All information you submit for a renewal goes directly to Washington D.C. to the CDA Council. Child Care Answers does not have any control or management over your CDA renewal.

If your CDA has expired, remember that your 120 hours do not expire. You will need to review and update your portfolio and reapply for the assessment process (verification visit and online exam).


If you currently work 30 or more hours per week in a licensed home/center or registered ministry, you might qualify for a T.E.A.C.H. renewal scholarship that pays 90% of the cost.  If you meet those qualifications, complete the scholarship form on Indiana AEYC’s website and send to T.E.A.C.H. as soon as possible.  Please see the form for mailing address and fax number. In order to use the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, you must fill out the scholarship application and have it approved before applying with the Council. Contact Tikla Welch with expired CDA questions.