Strengthen your ability to provide even better care

The Child Development Associate training will strengthen your ability to provide quality care to the children and families you serve.

Helping hands comes to you in partnership with COAD4Kids 

The Child Development Associate credential is the most widely recognized credential in early care and education and is the first and most important step you can take to advance your career.  The CDA credential is focused on a specific set of competency standards designed to expand your knowledge of child development.

How to earn a CDA?

There are several steps you must take in order to earn your Child Development Associate Credential.  The first step is to compete your training through an approved agency such as COAD.  There are 9 courses for a total of 135 professional development hours, 120 of which are Ohio Approved!

After you finish your training, you must schedule both a Verification Visit and CDA Competency exam.

Your Verification Visit will be conducted by a Professional Development Specialist (PDS) and will take place over a four-hour time period.  A PDS will follow the R.O.R. (Review, Observe, Reflect) model for your visit: 1) Review your portfolio; 2) Observe you in the environment in which you wish to obtain your CDA credential; and 3) Reflect on your visit and discuss ways to make your practice more effective and encourage you to pursue your goals.

You must take your CDA Exam at a PearsonVue approved testing site.  The exam is 65 multiple choice questions and you will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete it.  You don’t need any computer skills other than the ability to click a mouse.

You can choose to complete the CDA Exam and the Verification Visit in any order but both must be completed within 6 months of applying for your credential.

For more information on obtaining your CDA credential, visit their website at

Are there scholarships available?

YES!  We do offer scholarships if you live and/or work in the COAD region.

(Please note that due to the popularity of this credential and the limited number of scholarships available, you might not receive a scholarship but we still encourage you to earn your CDA credential.)

When can I start training?

We have cohorts starting in different counties at different times.  To find out if a cohort is starting near you, please call 330-602-6959

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