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

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Montgomery College School of Education offers the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Training Program.  Upon successful completion of this program, students/candidates will receive:

  • Nine college credits toward an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and fulfillment of the candidate’s formal education training requirement to earn the CDA credential
  • CDA guidance to
    • Develop a Professional Resource File
    • Prepare for the CDA written assessment
    • Prepare for the Oral Situational Interview

What are the requirements of earning the CDA Credential?

To receive a CDA credential, candidates must have:

  • 120 clock hours of formal education training/CDA coursework within the past five years.
  • 480 hours of experience working with children within the past five years.
  • Documents that verify their competence in early child care and education. These include:
     • A Professional Resources File
     • Parent Opinion Questionnaires
     • The CDA Assessment Observation Instrument
     • An Oral Interview
     • 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:

First Semester EDUC 135 Child Growth and Development (3 credits)

Second 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) OR
EDUC 224 Social-Emotional Development in Young Children (CDA for preschool setting) OR
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 90-Hour Course 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 OR

            EDUC 224 Social-Emotional Development in Young Children  OR

            EDUC 227 Planning and Administering Child Care Programs

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

Candidates 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)

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.

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.

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 during the spring and fall semesters each year.  The workshop:

  • Introduces candidates to the CDA assessment process and options
  • Offers guidance in compiling the CDA documentations

To register for the CDA workshop, please call School of Education at (240) 567-1757 or complete the attached Registration Form (pdf - 50kb).

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