Note: The CDA process has changed.  This page needs to be updated.

How to Get a CDA

This section will help you understand the CDA requirements,

benefits, and process

Assignment 1 What is CDA?

  • Find out What Is CDA? by reading this overview of the CDA program and some of its benefits. Find out why the CDA is growing.
  • Click on CDA Frequently Asked Questions for answers to many questions that people often have about the CDA credential and the process of obtaining a CDA.
  • Click on A Few Cautions for information about mistakes that people sometimes make so you can make sure everything is right for you. Don't get mislead by anyone who promises that you can get a CDA.
  • Click on Summary for a poster to remind you of the CDA requirements. Print this summary and post it in your classroom or office for a handy reference to what you need to get a CDA.

 Assignment 2 How a CDA Benefits You

  • Click on CDA, Pathways, and the School Readiness Tax Credit and read about how the CDA benefits you. In Louisiana, the CDA is a major part of the requirements for the School Readiness Tax Credit.
  • Click on CDA in State Licensing Regulations for a list of how the CDA can be used as a way to meet licensing requirments in many state. In Louisiana, a CDA can be a factor in becoming a director and is a major step in qualifiying for the School Readiness Tax Credit.

Assignment 3 Required Training

  • Click on CDA Subject Areas for Training for a list of the 8 subject areas for which you must have training in. You will find these CDA subject area numbers following most workshop titles such as (CDA 1). You must have 10 hours in each of the subject areas. An additional 40 hours can be in any area you choose. Your CDA instructor will help you orgaanize your certificates to make sure you meet the requirements.
  • Click on Where to Get Training for an overview of ways you can get CDA training through Chlld and Family Network. CDA classes are the best way to get your CDA since they are planned to be comprehensive and include preparation of your resource file. Your instructor will also help you understand what you need to know about the assessment.
  • CDA Classes are available either as regular face-to-face or may be taken online. For regular classes, you will receive 30 hours in each class. Our CDA program is designed to complete the CDA training requirments in 1 or 2 years, depending on whether you take 1 or 2 classes per semester. For the online version, you will be able to finish it according to your own timeline. However, we recommend that you not try to rush through the work and take around a year to complete the work.

Assignment 4 Preparing your Resouce File

 These documents are items that you need in addition to the training.

  • Click on 17 Specific Item and learn about the items that you will include in your Resource File. You will gather these items as part of your classwork.
  • Click on Autobiography for a form that will help you to organize your autobiography. You will complete your autobiography as part of your classwork if you are in a regular face-to-face class. If you take the online CDA program, you will have assistance as well.
  • Click on Competency Goals and Functional Areas. You will write competency statements for these functional areas. Your competency statements must meet specific guidelines. You will complete these as part of your classwork.
  • Click on  Competency Goal I for a sample to help you write your first competency statement. You can use a similar process to write the others. Writing your competency goals will be part of your classwork if you are enrolled in a CDA class.

Assignment 5 The Assessment Process

  • Click on Observation and Parent Questionnaires for information about the observation and parent questionnairs that must be completed as part of the assessment process. Your instructor will help you with these if you are in a class.
  • Click on The Assessment Process and read about the steps in this final task. As you get toward the end of your CDA training, your instructor will explain this process more in-depth so that you will know what to expect. Or, contact our office for help.

 Assignment 6 CDA Renewal

  • Click on CDA Renewal for an overview of the requirements for renewing your CDA. Remember that only a current CDA will qualify you for the School Readiness Tax Credit.
  • One option for renewing your CDA is to take CEU sessions. These sessions must meet special requirments that regular clock hour training may not necessarily meet. Click on CEU Requirements to learn about how CEUs are different from clock hour training. CEUs are counted in 10 hour blocks of time.
  • Click on CDA Renewal Summary for a poster that you can print to remind you of the requirements for CDA renewal. If you already have your CDA, make sure that you work on meeting the requirements well before your deadline. If you choose CEU sessions to renew, you will need to average 2-3 full-day CEU sessions per year to meet your renewal deadline.
  • If you have questions about CDA that are not answered in this material, please call (318) 677-3150 o1-800-796-9080. Or, you may email Paula Youngblood at

Call us to help you with your resource file, competency statements or observation. Don't let your CDA hours not count because you waited too long to apply for your CDA credential!! If you have at least 90 clock hours, you should start planning now to finish everything you need to complete and get ready to apply. Remember that CDA training alone does not qualify you for the School Readiness Tax Credit.


We can come to your site and help you or you may come to our office. we periodically offer some "catch up" sessions to help fill gaps of topics and training categories that you need. We also have online workshops to fill gaps. We have employees available to help you with technical assistance in what you need to do to complete the CDA requirements and prepare you to apply.


Find out how much you remember about CDA requirements by taking this self-assessment below.

How to Get a CDA Self-assessment. Note: this link is currently inactive.