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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Credentialing Program ® and CDA Competency Standards book. It is not intended as a substitute, nor is it simply another version of it. If you have not, as yet, ordered the Competency Standards book, you will want to do so before beginning to use The CDA Prep Guide. The Competency Standards book will be blue, yellow, or green, de- pending on your particular setting and age-level endorsement. At the back of each Competency Standards book are perforated pages including an Application Form, the Family Questionnaire for duplicating, and the documents needed for the verification visit. It is assumed that you have completed the required 120 clock hours of formal child care training and are ready to begin the next stages of CDA assessment. Not every Child Development Associate (CDA) candidate is working in the same setting or with children of the same ages. For this reason, not every CDA candidate will be using every section of this book—only the sections that pertain to her particular situation. Some of the information is of a general nature and is important for all CDA candidates to understand; however, other information is specific to center-based preschool, center-based infant/toddler, or family child care providers. The purpose of this book is to simplify the required tasks of CDA documentation and assessment into a step-by-step process, whether you are in a formal CDA preparatory class or working through this process on your own. You will appreciate the user- friendly format, helpful suggestions, and accurate information that will enable you to be successful. Easy-to-understand assistance is provided as you take the fol- lowing steps: • Assemble the Resource Collection for the Professional Portfolio • Compose the six Reflective Statements of Competence • Distribute and collect the Family Questionnaires • Select a Professional Development Specialist • Prepare yourself and your setting for the observation • Complete the application • Prepare for the CDA Exam • Prepare for the verification visit After earning your CDA Credential, you can continue to use this book to renew your CDA credential, to get a CDA for a different setting, and to decide how to continue your professional development. xii COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction