Early Childhood CDA Training Center courses were designed and developed by Early Childhood professors, who not only have extensive experience teaching the subject matter, but also have years of experience as early care and education providers themselves. They know what it is really like to teach and care for young children!
Our professors are also certified CDA Professional Development Specialists, who conduct Verification Visits for the Council. Some of our instructors are CDA Gold Standard Specialists and evaluate CDA training agencies throughout the country, to determine if their courses meet the Council's high quality standards to be designated as a CDA Gold Standard Training agency.
Our courses provide the specific training required by the Council for your CDA. They have been thoughtfully developed and thoroughly cover the 8 Subject Areas. "Essentials for Working with Young Children" is the textbook used for our courses, published by the Council.
Each course is accessed through Canvas, a learning management system that is robust, easy to use, and full of features that matter. Students will gain access to their course in Canvas after registering and can go into it any time while enrolled, to see class materials, submit assignments, check grades, and correspond with their instructor.
We meet with our students once a week, using Zoom, to discuss course content and provide enrichment through conversation. Let's face it. Sitting alone in front of a computer and working on a course can feel isolating. Interaction on Zoom makes our courses vibrant, interesting, and provides more of an in-class experience. We also include discussion boards each week, that further enable students to talk about course topics and network with each other.
I can find CDA training online that can be completed on my own in only a couple weeks. Why wouldn't I want to choose those courses instead?
Let's begin by understanding the real purpose of earning a CDA. It may be required by your state child care licensing agency or by your employer. So, yes, that may be a reason, but not the most important, by any means.
Teaching and caring for young children is important work. Early Childhood Education is more than a job. It is a profession. As such, it is crucial we are well-trained so we can do our best. Otherwise, we will be viewed as "babysitters"... a label our profession seeks to eliminate.
Earning a CDA is a beginning step in life-long learning. Even if you have been working in child care for years, a CDA can help you be a better teacher. Research is constantly changing and updating what we know about child development and the best ways children learn. We can't afford to be stagnant.
So, rather than seeing the goal of a CDA as getting a paper certificate, it should be recognized as something valuable you earned, that will help to improve your practice as an Early Childhood professional.
Realistically, can this be achieved in a couple weeks? Absolutely not and don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. The training that the Council requires covers 8 important Subject Areas, each of which deserve time spent learning and understanding.
Additionally, working on your own online, reading a few pages, and taking a short quiz, with no instructor support or input is mechanical and standardized. Students aren't standardized. They are individuals with different knowledge bases and learning styles. We acknowledge that and strive to make each course you take understandable, relatable, and valuable.
How do your courses help me to become a professional?
We promote the development of professionalism skills in every course. We require specific formatting of assignments and proper etiquette when corresponding with the instructors. Assignments are expected to be completed on time, using good grammar and punctuation. If you need help with these things, your instructor is there to help you. Representing yourself as a professional is important. These "soft skills" are useful in communicating with families, getting a promotion, or landing a new position. They also are important when it comes to being respected!
I've been in child care for many years. Will I be treated like a beginner?
Absolutely not! We believe every child care provider brings important experience and prior learning to our classes. Many have been teaching a long time and we respect that. Others are just starting out and that is respected, too. We encourage our students to share. There are valuable things we can learn from each other!
Do I need a computer to take the courses?
Yes, you do. It is not possible to complete the courses on your phone. You will also need Microsoft Word for your assignments. You can download a free copy for Mac or PC at office.com.
Are there any "real people" I can talk to while taking a course, if I have questions?
Your instructor is always available to you through Canvas messaging. You can expect a reply within 24 hours, even on weekends. If needed, your instructor can set up a one-on-one Zoom meeting.
Is there help and support with assembling my Professional Portfolio?
Yes! We provide a course specifically focused on assembling the Professional Portfolio. In addition, this course prepares students for the CDA Exam and the Verification Visit with the Professional Development Specialist. So, even if you took your 120 clock hours of CDA training elsewhere, this course can help you successfully navigate and complete the rest of the CDA process.
It is good to note here, however, we will not be assembling your portfolio for you, as some training sites promise. After all... whose CDA is this going to be? It is not ours! The Professional Portfolio is compiled, based on your particular work with young children and no one else's. The help we do provide makes it easy and you will be proud of your accomplishment!
In addition, several times a year, we offer an in-person, 2-day weekend workshop in Indianapolis for candidates wanting to complete their Professional Portfolio on a fast track. For more information about this, please click on the CDA Super Weekend menu link!
How long does it take to complete each course?
Our courses run between 2 and 6 weeks each, depending on the subject area and content. We know your time is valuable, but faster is not always better! We want our students to feel they are getting a good education for the money spent. And, the benefits go both ways! If you are getting what you need from our courses, we know we're making a difference for young children.
Are there assignments and quizzes?
Every week, you will have a reading assignment and also an assignment or two to enhance and reinforce your learning. Quizzes are provided, so your instructor can be sure you are understanding the subject matter and, if necessary, provide additional information and instruction.
Are the courses only for people working on a CDA?
No! Our courses can be taken by anyone who may need additional professional development hours or who may be renewing a CDA. Certificates are provided for each course completed.
Any questions we haven't answered? Please contact us for a speedy reply!