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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Contents Introduction  ix About the Third Edition  ix Pursuing a CDA Credential  x How to Use This Guide  xi 1 Facts about the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential and Process  1 What Is a CDA?  1 Why Is Getting a CDA Important?  3 Who Can Apply for a CDA?  4 What Kind of Formal Child Care Education Is Needed?  4 Is Financial Assistance Available to Help Pay for My Training?  6 Do I Have to Provide Some Kind of Proof That I Had This Training?  6 Are There Different Types of CDA Endorsements?  6 The CDA Process  10 The Professional Development Specialist  13 A Word to Center-Based Program Directors: Supporting Your CDA Candidates  17 Answers to Questions That Center Directors Frequently Ask  18 Tips and Suggestions from Former CDA Candidates and CDA Professional Development Specialists  25 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL v