Apr 22, 2024  
Fall 2017 Catalog and Handbook 
Fall 2017 Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Child Development Associate Certificate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

Program Director: Sherry Cleary
NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute
16 Court Street, 31st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Email Contact: Jennifer O’Brien, jennifer.o’brien@cuny.edu.

The Program

The Child Development Associate Certificate, offered in partnership with the NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, was created in response to new educational mandates, as well as the need for early childhood professionals to master the knowledge and skills needed to create effective learning environments for children.

The program prepares students to communicate effectively, learn and use new technology, think critically and creatively, and demonstrate cultural awareness. The courses are designed for students who intend to pursue advanced study in early childhood education or a related discipline, and for those who will seek employment or career advancement upon completion of an undergraduate degree program. The structure and curriculum of the CDA Certificate are designed to complement the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program’s Competency Standards.

Admission Criteria

Candidates for admission to undergraduate level certificate programs must possess a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) diploma. A writing sample is also required.

Applications will be reviewed to determine whether prospective students can satisfy the writing requirements and overall responsibilities of a CDA candidate. Current employment and background as an assistant teacher is an advantage but not essential for admission.

Upon admission into the program, students must also:

  • Sign a statement of ethical conduct.
  • Meet with the CDA Coordinator to identify a state-approved child development center where they can complete the required fieldwork hours per course and can be observed for final assessment, if intending to receive the CDA credential. If students are not currently employed by a state-approved Center, the CDA Coordinator will provide them with a list of approved programs, and will work with them to set up their fieldwork.


In order to earn the CDA Certificate, students must complete the required courses, a portfolio, and a formal observation to be submitted to the Council for Professional Recognition for review. These courses prepare students to:

  • Bring a strong developmental perspective to their work with young children and families;
  • Support second-language learners and children with special needs;
  • Create opportunities to examine and reflect on their teaching;
  • Improve classroom practice and learning environments through hands-on activities;
  • Strengthen connections between their Centers and children’s homes; and,
  • Build a repertoire of skills and resources to assist parents in caring effectively for their children.


120 hours of supervised fieldwork per course is required, regardless of whether the student intends to pursue the CDA. The fieldwork will be supervised by each course instructor. A vital source of evidence of the candidate’s skill is actual hands-on work as a teacher with children and families. The fieldwork/internship is an opportunity to learn through experience. The fieldwork/internship offers the candidate an opportunity to see her practice in light of new knowledge from the CDA course work. Students currently employed by a licensed program serving children Birth - 5 years can utilize their place of employment for their fieldwork hours. Students who are not employed by a licensed program will be placed in a site that is agreed upon by the instructor and student. Students are required to complete 480 hours of fieldwork prior to completion of the certificate program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs