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Frequently Asked Questions about the
Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Training Program

cda image 1Montgomery College School of Education offers nine college credits towards an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education which fulfills the CDA requirement of 120 clock hours of education in 8 subject areas.

In addition, Montgomery College offers students who are enrolled in the education classes, workshops to guide them through the CDA Credentialing process.

CDA Workshops at Montgomery College offer guidance in:

  • Understanding and completing the application process
  • Developing a Professional Portfolio
    (What goes into the Professional Portfolio?)
  • Preparing for the CDA Exam
    (The questions how, where, and when will be answered regarding the CDA Exam.)
  • Preparing for the Verification Visit by the CDA Professional Development Specialist
     • Who are the Professional Development Specialists?
     • How do you schedule a visit with a Professional Development Specialist?
     • What happens during the visit?

What are the requirements of earning the CDA Credential?

To be awarded a CDA credential, candidates must have:

  • Minimum of a high school diploma.
  • 120 clock hours of education in 8 subject areas (*hours are fulfilled by successful completion of  the three education classes from Montgomery College).
  • 480 hours of experience working with children within the past three years.
  • Documents that verify candidates competence in early child care and education
     • A Professional Portfolio which must include Education Documentation, Reflective Statements, Resources, and
       Philosophy Statement
     • Family Questionnaires
     • Completed a Verification Visit conducted by a CDA Professional Development Specialist
     • Passed the CDA Exam at a PearsonVUE Testing Center (computer-based not a written exam)

What are the recommended CDA courses at Montgomery College?

CDA coursework includes *three education courses which can be completed within two semesters:

1st Semester EDUC 135 Child Growth and Development (3 credits)

2nd Semester EDUC 136 Curriculum Planning in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)

PLUS one of the following, according to the type of CDA Credential that you want to receive:
EDUC 153 - Infant and Toddler Development and Curriculum Planning (CDA for infant/toddler setting)
EDUC 224 Social-Emotional Development in Young Children (CDA for preschool setting)
EDUC 227 Planning and Administering Child Care Programs (CDA for Family Child Care or Home Visitor)
Please note: EDUC 224 and EDUC 227 are offered only during the fall semester.  


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What other CDA courses should I take after completing the 90-Hour Course ?

If you have completed the two classes for the 90-Hours at Montgomery College within the past four years, you only need to take one of the following classes to meet the CDA education training requirement:

EDUC 153 Infant and Toddler Development and Curriculum Planning
EDUC 224 Social-Emotional Development in Young Children 
EDUC 227 Planning and Administering Child Care Programs

What requirements must I need before applying to the training program?

Interested students  must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be currently employed in an child care setting (center-based or family day care)
  • Be a registered student at Montgomery College (credit side)
  • Be currently enrolled or planning to enroll in one of the three classes at Montgomery College

How do I register for CDA courses?

To register for the initial course, EDUC 135, students must first apply for admission to the Montgomery College credit programs: go to the website at to complete the application. After being accepted, students may have to complete assessment testing before gaining approval to register for education classes.

All registration is done online through the MyMC student interface.  

How much do the CDA courses cost?

The tuition for three CDA courses (9 college credits) is approximately $1,400 total.  If this is the first time you are taking courses at Montgomery College, a $25.00 admission fee is required.

*It is important for students to understand that the above approximate cost does not include the application fee required by the CDA Council.

ABCIs financial assistance available to help CDA Candidates?

Child Care Quality Enhancements Scholarships are available through Montgomery County’s Early Childhood Initiative.  Child care providers may receive scholarships for CDA courses at Montgomery College.  For more information or to receive a scholarship packet, please contact Paulina Alvarado at 240-777-3203.

Who should I contact to receive or renew the CDA Credentials?

Please contact the CDA Council for Professional Recognition at or call 1-800-424-4310.

Where should I receive CDA guidance for meeting the CDA requirements?

CDA workshops will be held at Montgomery College Rockville Campus during the spring and fall semesters each year. To register for the CDA workshop, please contact the School of Education at (240) 567-1757 or complete  Registration Form (pdf - 50kb).

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