The Child Development Associate Program


In the early 1970s, a group of innovative early childhood educators in the United States gathered to determine a path for improving the quality of early care and education. It is out of these meetings that the concept for the Child Development Associate (CDA®) Credential was born. After several years of development, the first CDA credential was awarded in 1975.  In 1985, the Council for Professional Recognition based in Washington DC became the sole organization responsible for administering the CDA. Since then, more than 800,000 CDA credentials have been awarded to early childhood educators globally, with approximately 18,000 professionals becoming new CDAs annually.

Under the auspices of the Chancellor of Badr University Cairo (BUC), Dr. Hassan El Kalla, a partnership was entered into with the US-based Council to bring, for the first time in Africa, the opportunity for teachers of young children to earn the CDA credential. Since the Summer of 2018, BUC has offered the required 120-hours of training as well as additional support to prepare CDA candidates to become credentialed, early childhood professionals. 

Register for the Training

To begin your journey and join over 800,000 teachers of young children in becoming a Child Development Associate, please fill out the interest form, and someone will contact you directly.

For more information, please email the program at

Applying for the Credential

Following the completion of training, participants can apply to become CDA candidates. Upon completion of the application through the Council, candidates are scheduled for a Verification Visit by a Council-certified Professional Development Specialist (PDS) who evaluates their performance and interactions with children in the classroom, the classroom environment and conducts a review of their Professional Portfolio. After the successful completion of all these required steps, the CDA Candidate is administered the CDA assessment exam at a certified Pearson Vue testing site.


Curriculum Overview

The Child Development Associate Program

The CDA Program at BUC, in partnership with the Council, is designed to train, assess, and credential early childhood education professionals. The Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the CDA Competency Standards Books, Essentials for Working with Young Children Textbook, and other materials used to support CDA credentialing; BUC provides the required 120-hours of high-quality CDA training. Courses offered in the 120-hour training that is required for earning the CDA credential are as follows: