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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL indicating the critical importance of the first years in a child’s life, the demand for quality child care is also increasing (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012–13). Earning a CDA can put you into a good position for a promising career as a trained, early childhood professional. Who Can Apply for a CDA? Early childhood care and education workers who are in center- based, family child care, or home visitor programs can be evalu- ated by the Council. These persons need to have some education and experience in early child care and meet several requirements, specifically, these: • Be eighteen years of age or older • Hold a high school diploma or GED • Be a high school junior or senior enrolled in a high school career/technical program in early childhood education • Have 480 hours of experience working with young children in the same age group and setting as the CDA application • Have 120 clock hours of formal child care education (Council for Professional Recognition 2013) What Kind of Formal Child Care Education Is Needed? The 120 clock hours of formal child care education must include at least ten hours in each of the following subject areas: • Planning a safe, healthy environment (safety, first-aid, health, nutrition, space planning, materials and equipment, play) • Steps to enhance children’s physical and intellectual devel- opment (large- and small-muscle development, language, discovery, art, music) • Positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development (self-esteem, independence, self-control, socialization) • Strategies to establish productive relationships with families (parent involvement, home visits, conferences, referrals) • Strategies to manage an effective program operation (plan- ning, record keeping, reporting) • Maintaining a commitment to professionalism (advocacy, ethical practices, work force issues, professional associations) 4 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Chapter 1