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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Facts about the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and Process What Is a CDA? CDA stands for Child Development Associate ™ . This is a person who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA Credential. She has demonstrated the ability to meet the specific needs of children, work with parents and other adults, and promote and nurture children’s social, emo- tional, physical, and intellectual growth in a child development program. The CDA has shown competence in her ability to meet the CDA Competency Standards through her work in a center- based, home visitor, family child care, bilingual, or special educa- tion setting (Council for Professional Recognition 2006, 2013). When and How Did It All Begin? The Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program ® began in 1971, through the cooperative efforts of the federal government and the early childhood care and education profession, as a result of concern about the quality of child care in this country. Throughout the 1960s, a dramatic increase occurred in the number of children in care programs as many mothers en- tered the workforce, but there was no deliberate and organized ef- fort to keep track of the quality of care these children were receiv- ing. This became increasingly important, as major research studies at the time continued to indicate how critical the care that a child received in the early years was to the child’s subsequent develop- ment. The purpose of the program was to assess and credential early childhood care and education professionals on the basis of COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 1