Getting my CDA gave me confidence in my job. I am much less stressed with skills that help me save time and add quality activities for my preschoolers.
– Family Child Care Owner, Southwest Missouri

CDA Scholarship Model

CDA Scholarship may best suit your needs if you are:

  • Wanting to earn your national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential meeting the educational requirement through earning early childhood education college credits.
  • Wanting to earn a credential prior to earning your Associate degree.
  • Seeking a CDA as a requirement for employment.

Eligibility – All applicants must:

  • Want to earn a CDA in an infant/toddler, preschool or family child care setting.
  • Be at least 18 years old and have a high school or equivalency diploma.
  • Work directly with children birth to 5 years old daily in a licensed or license-exempt child care program.
  • Work directly with children at least 30 hours a week in a child care program.
  • Make under $26.00/hour.
  • Work in Missouri and be authorized to work in the U.S.

Once awarded a CDA Scholarship, participants will:

  • Be assigned a T.E.A.C.H. MISSOURI CDA Scholarship Counselor who will assist throughout the entire CDA process.
  • Enroll in the Missouri community college of their choice and earn 9 to 12 early childhood education college credit hours across 3 consecutive semesters successfully passing all classes.
  • Pay only 5% of course tuition and books. For example, if class tuition is $300, your 5% portion would be only $15! Your sponsoring employer pays only 5% too!
  • Commit to stay at your sponsoring child care program for 6 months after completing your 3 education semesters.


  • Pay 90% of the tuition and books for your 9-12 early childhood college credit hours.
  • Pay 100% of your college fees.
  • Pay you $430 (in two installments of $215) after you complete three semesters and 6 months of commitment time to your current child care program.

After earning your college credit hours, you will:

  • Enroll in the Child Care Aware® of Missouri CDA Scholarship Project, where your T.E.A.C.H. MISSOURI CDA Scholarship Counselor will continue to assist you as you complete the CDA process toward your credential.

The CDA Scholarship Project will:

  • Pay for your CDA™ Competency Standards workbook.
  • Pay your $425 CDA application fee.
  • Walk you through the process of setting up your CDA Verification Visit and CDA testing.
  • Once you earn your CDA credential, reimburse you, and your sponsoring employer, the 5% you paid toward college tuition and books.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Missouri is a licensed program of Child Care Services Association.
The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0048-01-00, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Child Care, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.