Earn Your Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

The Arlington Employment Center is OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  To schedule an appointment with the Arlington Employment Center call 703.228.1400 or click here.    To schedule an appointment with the Virginia Employment Commission,please call 703-813-1300.

 

Now Recruiting Students for October Classes!

Classes will be held virtually on Monday's and Wednesday's from 6:30pm-8pm starting in October.

Registration for the program will start in August.

Want to be placed on the waitlist? Complete these three steps:

  1. Watch this video to learn more about the program.
  2. Complete the CDA Program Interest Form.
  3. Check your e-mail - a staff member will contact you within 2 business days.

If you are eligible for the program, you will be placed on a waitlist, and a staff member will contact you closer to the registration date.

What is the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential?

The CDA is the most widely recognized, portable credential for early childhood education professionals. For more information about the CDA credential, visit the Council for Professional Recognition.

 

What are the benefits of earning the CDA credential?

Job seekers or career switchers interested in working in early childhood education should consider earning the CDA. Through the Child Care Initiative, Arlington County has recently revised the educational requirements for lead teachers in day care centers. Instead of requiring two years of college, lead teachers can hold a CDA credential in Arlington County. The CDA is also considered the best first step for child care professionals looking to enhance their skills, advance their careers, and continue their education.   

 

What are the requirements to earn a CDA credential?

In order to earn the CDA, a candidate must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete 120 hours of training
  • Obtain 480 hours of work experience
  • Prepare a professional portfolio
  • Complete an application
  • Pass an exam
  • Schedule and engage in a verification visit

For more information regarding the requirements to earn a CDA credential, visit the Council for Professional Recognition.

 

How can the Arlington Employment Center help me earn the CDA?

The Arlington Employment Center offers classes to prepare eligible Arlington residents for the CDA credential. In these classes, students complete the 120 hours of training, prepare the professional portfolio, and study for the exam. In addition, students work with our team of employment specialists to obtain the 480 hours of work experience. The Arlington Employment Center also assists students in completing the application and scheduling the exam and verification visit.  

 

What are the requirements to enroll in the CDA program?

In order to enroll in the CDA program, you must have a high school diploma or GED, work authorization, ability to pass a background check, and a high intermediate English reading and writing level in order to take CDA classes.

For more information regarding background checks, visit the Virginia Department of Social Services

 

How much does the program cost?

The CDA program is FREE for Arlington residents who meet household income eligibility limits and the requirements listed above.

Tuition fees range from $300-$900 for those who do not meet the Arlington residency or household income eligibility limits.

Please complete the CDA Program Interest Form to learn more.

 

I am not an Arlington resident. Can I still enroll in the program?

It depends. Please complete the CDA Program Interest Form to learn more.

 

I do not meet the eligibility requirements. Can I still enroll in the program?

It depends. Please complete the CDA Program Interest Form to learn more.

 

How do I register for the CDA program?

Registration for the program will start in August.

To be placed on the waitlist, complete these three steps:

  1. Watch this video to learn more about the program.
  2. Complete the CDA Program Interest Form.
  3. Check your e-mail - a staff member will contact you within 2 business days.

If you are eligible for the program, you will be placed on a waitlist, and a staff member will contact you closer to the registration date.

 

 

How can I hire CDA program participants?

Send us an e-mail at cda.aec@arlingtonva.us