About CDA Training Program

Our Child Development Associate (CDA) training program is designed to equip students with the knowledge they need in order to prepare for the CDA credentialing exam administered by the Council for Professional Recognition. By the end of this program, our candidates will be able to meet all the application requirements needed in order to obtain a CDA credential.

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 the field. CentroNía’s training program is based on a core set of competency standards which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children.

cdagraduation-244Our CDA candidates participate in a 7 module training program consisting of 150 hours of hands-on practice in a model classroom. Our cohorts meet twice a week from 6:00-9:00 PM for a period of six months. The training has a special focus on increasing knowledge of child development, how to work with children with special needs and/or challenging behaviors, how to use age appropriate assessment tools, and how to engage in intentional planning to support children’s growth and learning. We specialize in both infant/toddler and preschool endorsements with a bilingual specialization. In addition to the training, our candidates are given advisory sessions to assist them with the assembly of their professional portfolio. In the past five years, the program has graduated more than 400 early childhood professionals who now work in centers across D.C. and Maryland.


If you would like to learn more about this program, please make contact us through the link below:

Eligibility and Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • 18 years old and older
  • Current professional childcare experience in the District of Columbia* (paid or volunteer) within the group setting you are applying for, including experience with each of the three infant/toddler sub-groups: young infants (birth–8 months), mobile infants (9–17 months), and toddlers (18–36 months) OR with children aged 3 through 5 years old (preschoolers)
  • We will need a letter from the director of your facility approving of at least 120 hours of volunteer/work experience in a licensed center or family home daycare (you will need to complete 480 hours by the end of the program).

To make the process easier, you may download and fill out the Child Development Associate Training Program Enrollment Application.

Interested in enrollment?

The best way to learn about CentroNía and whether our services are right for you and your family is by making an appointment with our Admissions Office and speaking with a representative.