G The CDA Professional
Portfolio is now a
resource you can
actually use in your
work with young
children and families.
Feel free to continue
to add resources to the
portfolio after earn-
ing your credential.
Some of the Resource Collection items are similar to those
that were collected for the Professional Resource File, but they now
appear in different contexts. For example, the candidate will still
describe nine activities but is now given specific developmental/
learning areas on which to focus. The new Resource Collection will
enable the candidate to visit more websites for information, which
is a logical change, since the Internet is generally the first place
most of us search for what we need.
Candidates will still be locating community resources, such
as translation services and agencies that work with children who
have special needs. However, these resources will now be grouped
together into one section of the Professional Portfolio designated
as the Family Resource Guide.
CDA 2.0 also requires that the CDA candidate take on more
personal responsibility in the credentialing process. Locating a
Professional Development Specialist (also called the PD Specialist)
and scheduling the CDA Exam and verification visit are now tasks
for the candidate to complete. The candidate will also review the
Family Questionnaires that she has collected and will interpret
the feedback as it applies to her practices. At the verification visit,
it will be the candidate who reflects on her professional strengths
and areas for future growth in order to set personal goals and then
strategies for meeting them. This new personal responsibility gives
the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate the characteristics
of a professional in the field—making decisions, reflecting and
evaluating, and taking steps to improve practices.
All of these changes may appear to be a paradigm shift, bring-
ing with it some uncertainty and confusion. This third edition of
The CDA Prep Guide will help you navigate the new CDA process
and become comfortable with it, so you can accurately complete the
requirements and be fully ready for a successful verification visit.
Pursuing a CDA Credential
CDA candidates have had varying amounts of child care training,
through college classes, in-service trainings, or attendance at a va-
riety of workshops. Many are working on a degree or have already
earned a degree in a related area of study. Those who are new to
the field may have just begun learning about child development
and educating young children through their CDA training hours.
The reasons early child care and education providers are
interested in pursuing a CDA Credential are as varied as their
backgrounds. Some who are already working in the field may
need to earn their CDA to retain their positions, advance into lead
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