and schedule her own verification visit and CDA Exam. By allow-
ing the candidate to take charge of her own CDA, the Council is
encouraging her to be a responsible and goal-directed professional.
How Many People Have a CDA Credential?
Since 1975, the total number of caregivers who have achieved a
CDA Credential is well over 300,000. As a result of an increased
demand for trained and qualified staff by employers in both the
public and private sectors, more than 15,000 child care providers
apply for the CDA Credential each year. In addition, forty-nine
states plus the District of Columbia include the CDA Credential as
part of their child care licensing regulations (Bailey 2004).
Who Earns a CDA?
More than half of CDAs are between the ages of twenty-six and
forty, with a continued increase in the number of CDAs over the
age of forty. The majority of people who have earned a CDA are
female. Those who are CDAs tend to be more diverse with regard
to race/ethnicity (Bailey 2004).
Why Is Getting a CDA Important?
Working through the CDA process can be worthwhile and
rewarding. In so doing, a candidate can benefit through these
achievements: • Earn a nationally recognized Credential
• Evaluate his or her own work as it compares to national
standards and improve on skills
• Receive one-on-one advice, support, and feedback from
early childhood professionals who have experience working
with young children and knowledge of child development
• Improve upon existing skills to the benefit of young chil-
dren, as well as the candidate
(Council for Professional Recognition 2006)
The field of early childhood education is a vibrant one, show-
ing much potential for increased employment opportunity in the
future. The National Occupational Outlook Handbook indicates
that employment for child care workers is expected to grow by at
least 20 percent by 2020, which is a faster average employment in-
crease than that of any other occupation. With continued research
Facts about the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and Process