Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential ™ Support

TECTA supports an educational pathway to earning a CDA®, a nationally recognized Credential in the field of early childhood education.

The TECTA Advantage

For educators who complete a TECTA Orientation, the CDA® credential courses are the next step on the pathway of professional development.

A CDA® is a Child Development Associate Credential that recognizes an individual’s knowledge of child development and skills when working with young children. The Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C., awards this credential to individuals who have completed the education, training, and other requirements. TECTA provides personalized assistance and mentoring throughout the entire process.

The CDA® Process
1. Begin with a free TECTA Orientation
TECTA offers five 30-hour Orientations for individuals who work with children: Administrator, Center-Based, School-Age, Infant/Toddler, and Family Child Care. Complete the Orientation that fits your specialization to be eligible for tuition support for academic courses.

2. Start your academic courses
If you are working with young children in a state-regulated early childhood program and complete TECTA Orientation, you are eligible for tuition assistance for the four academic courses needed to complete a CDA. These four courses equal 12 credit hours that articulate into the technical certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and graduate degrees.

3. Participate in TECTA Mentorship
TECTA staff are certified CDA Professional Development (PD) specialists and host workgroups that facilitate the Professional Portfolio (PP) and Family Questionnaires (FQ) required for the CDA.

4. Submit the application packet
TECTA staff will help you complete the application packet and submit it to the Council for Professional Recognition. TECTA support includes a scholarship for the application fee.

5. Complete the verification visit
Once notification is received from the Council for Professional Recognition, TECTA staff will conduct the required verification visit. You complete the CDA Exam at a local Pearson VUE testing center. The scores and test results are sent to the council online and based upon the results, the council awards the credential.

These steps may vary for high school students enrolled in ECEC classes and for Family Child Care educators. Work with your TECTA advisor to determine your specific steps to earning your credential.


The CDA® Prep Courses
TECTA provides financial assistance for each of the four CDA® preparation courses that also articulate to degree programs in Early Childhood Education. The courses are:

TECTA Scholarships for CDA® Candidates
TECTA provides application scholarships for qualified students who wish to obtain the credential. Scholarships are awarded based on the availability of funds. To qualify for a CDA® scholarship, the applicant must:

1. Be a resident of Tennessee or a border state
2. Work in a state-regulated early childhood facility in Tennessee
3. Have completed the required course work and documentation through participation in the TECTA program
4. Meet all the guidelines for submission of materials to the Council for Professional Recognition

For more information on obtaining a CDA® or to get started, visit the TECTA Sites.