The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE.


The CDA Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children.


Our program prepares you to obtain either your Infant-Toddler or Home Visitor CDA Credential. In addition to the coursework, throughout the program you will work with an advisor who will guide you through preparing your professional portfolio, conducting family questionnaires, preparing for your CDA exam, and gathering all of the materials you’ll need to include in your application.


For more information on the CDA credential, go to


Course Format

The program is delivered through the University of Minnesota’s online learning platform, and is comprised of readings, out-of-class assignments, and online discussion. Courses are taught by UMD Education Department faculty, all of whom have extensive experience teaching educators and working with children and families.


You should expect to spend approximately 4-6 hours per week on coursework. All work can be done on your own time as long as it is completed by the assigned due date.


This program can be taken in full or one session at a time. See links at top right of the page to view individual course offerings.

Program Includes:
Social/Emotional Development 0-5 (45 Hours)

Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education (45 Hours)

Building Healthy Relationships With Families (15 Hours)

Brain Development in the Context of Environments and Relationships (45 Hours)

CDA Preparation and Support (30 Hours)

Additional Details



Scholarship Language: Minnesota child care providers may be eligible for a scholarship covering most of the cost of this program through Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Click this link for more information! ( )


Note that the cost of UMD’s CDA program does not include the $25 CDA Competency Standards book or the $425 fee that must be submitted with your final CDA application. Scholarships are available to cover application fee costs (

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