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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET One of the final steps in the CDA process will be to compose a Professional Philosophy Statement. It will be typed and placed into the last section of your portfolio. You will not write this Professional Philosophy Statement until you have completed these steps: • Completed all of your CDA training • Had at least 480 hours of experience working with young children • Completely finished the Professional Portfolio All of these combined experiences will enable you to write a fuller, more thoughtful, informed Professional Philosophy Statement. To prepare for writing this philosophy statement, however, it is a good idea to think about how you feel about certain aspects of early childhood practices, based on your experience and training. This will help you to organize your thoughts. This may be the first time you have ever thought about your own personal philosophy of teaching young children, or if you have, you may not ever have written it down. In appendix F is a Professional Philosophy Exercise, which involves a series of statements you will complete to prompt you to think about your beliefs and feelings. When asked, the majority of CDA candidates who have gone through this exercise before trying to write their philosophy statements said it was very valuable to them and made this task much easier. Rather than just a couple words, try to write a short paragraph as your response to each item, thinking deeply about what you’re writing. Right now, as you begin your CDA journey, take a few min- utes to complete this exercise. You will be reviewing and using your responses later when you write the Professional Philosophy Statement. When you are finished, come back to this page and continue reading about the next stages of the CDA process. 2. Apply Application can be done online on the Council’s website (www. cdacouncil.org/yourcda) or by using the paper application form located at the back of your Competency Standards book. Your application fee accompanies the form. When the application has been accepted, the candidate will receive a Ready to Schedule Notice e-mail from the Council. At that time, you will schedule the CDA Exam and call the PD Specialist to schedule your verifi- cation visit. 12 Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL