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Earn your CDA online with Bertelsen Education

Take courses to meet the training hour requirement and complete a portfolio course, all online on your own time!

What is a CDA?

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. It's a great way to advance your career in early childhood education. The CDA® is based on a core set of competency standards set by the Council for Professional Recognition that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children.

What are the steps to getting a CDA credential?

While Bertelsen Education provides coursework and the portfolio course, the CDA credential is issued by the CDA Council.
Our program allows you one year to complete these steps.
pricing

How much does it cost to get a CDA?

Bertelsen Education offers a CDA Curriculum Package, which gives you all the coursework and test prep you need for the CDA.
Note: The cost to get a CDA varies. Alternative funding sources and scholarships are available. Visit the CDA webpage to learn more about funding sources.
Our CDA Curriculum Package includes the following:
  • Coursework - Annual Membership from Bertelsen Education
  • Section review - 8 hours of review for each of the CDA subject areas
  • Subject area portfolio prep and examples - binder inserts to assist in portfolio creation
  • Test prep - 8 subject area test prep questions
Total Cost* = $375
* An additional $450 for a CDA workbook and the certification test is paid directly to Council for Professional Recognition
** Multiple teacher discount available. Contact jill@bertelseneducation.com for more information and pricing

Frequently asked questions

Does Bertelsen Education award the CDA?

No. Bertelsen Education provides courses that fulfill the CDA requirements, as well as a portfolio course and general information about how to obtain a CDA.

The CDA is awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition. The Council will administer the final test and award the credential.

Who is eligible for a CDA?

To be eligible for the CDA credential, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, although the organization now allows select third and fourth-year high school students opportunities to qualify. In addition to meeting educational and experience requirements, you must submit documented verification of your work with children.

How long does it take to get a CDA?

That's completely up to you! The CDA has 120 hours worth of coursework. If you work 5 hours a week, then it will take you 6 months to complete the coursework.

Although our courses are self-paced, you must complete all of your courses within 12 months.

How much does it cost?

There are different elements required to obtain a CDA credential, and each is paid to a different source. For reference, we've included typical costs in the table below:
  • Item
  • Who to purchase from
  • Cost
  • CDA Package - Coursework + Portfolio Course
  • Bertelsen Education
  • $1,200
  • CDA Competency Standards Workbook
  • CDA Council
  • $25
  • CDA Assessment
  • CDA Council
  • $425
  • Total Cost
  • $1,650

Do I need to have a computer to complete the courses?

No. Our courses are mobile friendly! You can complete coursework on any device - desktop, tablet or smartphone.

What is the Verification Visit?

The Verification Visit is conducted by the CDA Council. This is where someone from the CDA Council will observe you working with children.

How long is a CDA good for?

The CDA Credential must be renewed every 3 years.

CDA Curriculum Pathway

View required courses and exams that you will take as part of our CDA Curriculum Package. You can also download a PDF of our CDA Pathway using the button below.
Subject Area 1
Subject Area 2
Subject Area 3
Subject Area 4
Subject Area 5
Subject Area 6
Subject Area 7
Subject Area 8
subject area 1

Planning a safe and healthy learning environment

9 required courses
19 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 1.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 8

Understanding the principles of child development and learning

6 required classes
12 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 8.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 7

Observing and recording children's behavior

5 required classes
10 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 7.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 6

Maintaining a commitment to professionalism

5 required classes
11 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 6.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 5

Managing an effective program operation

7 required classes
13 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 5.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 4

Building productive relationships with families

6 required classes
13 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 4.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 3

Supporting children's social and emotional development

10 required classes
20 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 3.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.
subject area 2

Advancing children's physical and intellectual development

7 required classes
15 training hours
The following are required to complete Subject Area 2.
Click the + to learn more about each course.
*Be sure to keep your coursework as you complete these courses. You will use it as part of your portfolio.

Want to learn more about our CDA Package?

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