CDA Child Care Assistance for Future Child Development Associates

cda child care assistance

The decision to begin preparing to obtain your CDA Child care certification can be a massive undertaking.  Locating CDA Child care assistance to help you learn what you’ll need to know, explain the process, and help with the cost can add to the stress.  

Child Care Aware® of Missouri encourages the childcare educators of tomorrow to obtain CDA child care certification, as it is a nationally recognized credential and one of the first formal steps in a career in early childhood education.  

Since obtaining your CDA child care certification comprises multiple steps, including an exam, an observation, and a professional portfolio, Child Care Aware® of Missouri provides CDA child care assistance for future childcare development associates.  

We have compiled this resource to help you during the process and to “lighten the load” completing your CDA certification.  We will dive into what is involved in the CDA Scholarship Project, how to apply, and what other criteria are required to obtain your CDA child care certification. 

Why Obtain Your CDA Child Care Certification? 

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is nationally recognized as a professional credential administered by the Council for Professional Recognition.  

The CDA is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a vital piece of the puzzle when attempting to advance your career in ECE.  

The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that help guide child care professionals as they work toward becoming a teacher of young children.  

CDAs understand how to put CDA Competency Standards into practice while also understanding the “why” of how those standards can help children successfully move from one developmental stage to another.  

Earning your CDA enhances and advances your career and comes with many benefits, such as increasing your confidence, providing a more comprehensive range of employment opportunities, and personally and professionally empowering you.

CDA Child Care Assistance for Your Application

The first step in obtaining your CDA child care certification is to determine eligibility and submit your application.  If you’re looking for CDA child care assistance from the CDA Scholarship Project, the first thing you’ll need to decide is if you want to earn your CDA child care certification through clock hours or college credit hours.  

Earning Your CDA Child Care Certification Through Clock Hours

To complete your CDA via clock hours, you must: 

  • Work in a licensed, license-exempt child care program or as a “six or fewer” provider.
  • Work in a child care program that accepts DSS Subsidy
  • Work a minimum of 15 hours per week at the child care program
  • Work at least one month at the child care program

If you fit these criteria, you can apply using clock hours by enrolling today through CCAMO. 

If you want to complete your CDA utilizing college credit hours, you must apply via T.E.A.C.H. Missouri Website.  You must meet the following criteria for eligibility into the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri CDA child care assistance scholarship program: 

  • Work in a licensed child care program in Missouri
  • Work in a child care program registered to accept child care subsidies. 
  • Work directly with children birth-5 years old. 
  • Work at least 25 hours per week. 
  • Worked at the child care program for at least three consecutive months.
  • Make less than $20/hour as an educator or $25/hour as a director or owner. 
  • Want to earn a CDA in an infant/toddler, preschool, or family child care setting. 

CDA Child care Assistance for Your Examination

The first step in obtaining your CDA child care certification is your exam.  This test has 65 multiple-choice questions taken on a computer at your local testing center. 

There are various options for attaining CDA child care assistance for your examination, such as courses and workshops. Still, we will discuss just a few things you should know to prepare for your CDA child care certification exam to get you started.

Top Three Things to be aware of for Your CDA Child Care Examination

  • Process of Elimination: Since the test has all multiple-choice questions, it’s beneficial to practice automatically eliminating any options that do not fit the scenario, leaving you with only answers that are potentially in the running.  Not only will this automatically help you feel more confident about each question, but it will also improve your chances of answering the question correctly.
  • How Questions Will be Asked: The questions on your CDA child care exam will mostly be situational. Situational questions mean that you must pick the answer selection that most closely matches how you would respond in a specific situation.  
  • Practice Tests: The only way to get accustomed to the types of questions on the exam is to study using practice tests.  Remember, practice tests are not the actual questions on your exam but are formatted to be very similar.  With most questions being situational, and all of the questions being multiple-choice, preparing with a practice test is an excellent idea. 

CDA Child Care Assistance for Your Observation

During your verification visit, the professional development (PD) specialist you have selected will come to your place of work for approximately 4 hours.  

Your professional development specialist is responsible for completing the CDA verification visit, reviewing your documentation, observing you as your work with the children, and conducting a reflective dialogue with you.  After their observation, they will electronically submit your scores to the Council. 

The PD specialist will spend the first hour reviewing your portfolio, followed by a 2-hour observation period of you in the classroom, ending with about an hour-long conversation going over the professional development specialist’s feedback. 

The most comforting part of the verification process is that you will know when your observation is taking place, allowing you to prepare for it ahead of time.  

Knowing when the verification meeting is means you can tailor your lesson plans to align with what your PD specialist is looking for.  

You can locate the information regarding what your PD specialist will consider in the back of your competency standards booklet.  

The PD specialist uses those exact pages to guide their observations, so don’t forget to check those pages and plan your day around what the specialist is planning to see. 

You can locate more information on CDA child care assistance for your verification visit and information on the rest of the application process by visiting the Council for Professional Recognition’s CDA FAQ page. 

Most importantly, try not to look at the PD specialist as someone you should be fear.  These specialists are here to give you CDA childcare assistance to help you become the best early childhood educator you can be, and you should try to view them as the wealth of knowledge they are.

CDA Child care Assistance for Your Portfolio

It’s critical to ensure that the portfolio element of your CDA application accurately reflects you and your teaching style.  It’s crucial to ensure your portfolio is accurate because it may not be possible to be in a room you’re familiar with for your observation. 

The switching of rooms creates a dilemma.  Part of your CDA application that the PD specialist considers is the environment – is it clean?  Are toys away?  Are books age-appropriate?  When you’re in a room that is not your own, it may be out of your control to change these things.  

Ensuring that your portfolio accurately represents how you manage, maintain, and run your classroom is vital to giving the PD specialist a well-rounded view of who you are as an early childhood educator.  An accurate portrayal of you as an educator will help them feel more confident in approving your CDA child care certification.  

When looking for CDA child care assistance in building your portfolio, Google can be a wealth of knowledge.  There are videos, courses, and other top content that will walk you through the intricacies of completing your CDA portfolio.

CDA Child care Assistance for Payment

In addition to needing assistance in completing the CDA child care certification process, from exam to your portfolio, Child Care Aware® of Missouri also realizes the need for financial CDA child care assistance.  It’s for this reason that multiple scholarship opportunities are available for those hoping to obtain their CDA.  

Child Care Aware® of Missouri CDA Project

Child Care Aware® of Missouri CDA Project helps child care educators through the CDA credentialing process, pays the candidates’ application fee, and gives potential CDAs money for earning their CDA credential.  

Additionally, we provide help finding clock-hour workshops if the candidate finds themselves in need of training hours.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Missouri Scholarship Models

Child Care Aware® of Missouri administers T.E.A.C.H. Missouri, which offers a CDA scholarship and Entry Associate Degree Scholarship.  Eligible candidates must be enrolled in an approved Missouri 2-year college.  

If the candidate meets this requirement, T.E.A.C.H. Missouri will pay 90% of tuition and books and 100% of qualifying college fees.  

Resources Round-up: Where to Look for Help in Obtaining Your CDA Child Care Certification 

When looking for further CDA child care assistance on your journey to becoming a CDA, the Council for Professional Recognition’s website can be an excellent source of help.  

There, you will find other programs, resources, and organizations offering CDA childcare assistance to prospective child development associates.

If you want further information on how to receive CDA child care assistance financially, look no further than Child Care Aware® of Missouri’s website.  

Here we explain the differences between the different types of CDA’s and go into detail on how you can get more information on scholarships and funding. 

Lastly, we recommend the T.E.A.C.H. Missouri website for your research in attaining CDA child care assistance.  T.E.A.C.H. details on how to apply for your CDA child care certification, what the criteria are to enroll, and the steps you must take after acceptance to be granted your CDA child care certification. 

While it may be a bit confusing initially, after reading through the literature and websites recommended in this article, it should seem far more straightforward.  If you need further assistance deciding how to start your CDA, you can contact the ECE Council from Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7 pm EST.   

In Closing – Deciding to Go After Your CDA Child Care Certification

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely looking to enhance your early childhood education career and set yourself up for an abundant future in childhood education. In that case, there are many resources to give you the CDA child care assistance you require for your CDA child care certification. 

A CDA-certified early childhood educator is far more likely to excel in their career and, more importantly, become an educator who helps their students in the most effective ways possible. 

Additionally, your CDA will help to increase your confidence as a teacher, resulting in better outcomes. After completing your CDA credentialing process, you will better understand what is developmentally applicable for each student under your care.  

When we have teachers and caregivers who are intent on each student’s success, the result is children who believe in themselves and can excel in their studies.  

If you have more questions on receiving your CDA or steps about how you can receive CDA childcare assistance, please visit the Child Care Aware® of Missouri website.   There you will find an abundance of articles and resources that discuss the CDA credentialing process from start to finish.