Child Development Associate

Division of Social Sciences — Curriculum Code: 0204

Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Certificate of Completion 

The Child Development Associate certificate program offers three courses that will prepare students to take the national Child Development (CDA) credential exam. The courses provide the theoretical and practical foundation for obtaining a CDA certification, which is necessary for working as a paraprofessional teacher in an early childhood classroom.

Fall 2021 – Classes have begun!

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About this Child Development Associate Certificate

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses in my major?

You must be a high school graduate or possess a GED. You also need to have accumulated (within the past five years) or be in the process of accumulating a total of 480 hours of experience working with children aged birth through five years old in a group setting.

If I major in Child Development Associate, can I transfer to an upper-division college or university?

The Child Development Associate certificate program is career-oriented and not designed for transfer.

How long will it take for me to complete this program?

Depending upon your prior education and work experience, you may complete the certificate of achievement in one year.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the early childhood educational theories and classroom best practices;
  • Identify and implement age-specific activities that enhance the physical and cognitive growth and/or the social and emotional development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers;
  • Describe and demonstrate how to establish a safe, healthy learning environment that includes developing and maintaining positive, productive relationships with families; and
  • Communicate effectively with accurate ‘educational/pedagogical’ terminology in written and/or oral form with a demonstrated proficiency in the use of technology.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973) 877-3250.

Program Requirements

Major Course Requirements

ECE 101 Early Care and Education I (4 credits)
ECE 102 Early Care and Education II (4 credits)
ECE 103 Early Care and Education Fieldwork (3 credits)

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Total Credits Required for Certificate of Achievement: 11

First Semester
ECE 101 Early Care and Education I (4 credits)

Second Semester
ECE 102 Early Care and Education II (4 credits)
ECE 103 Early Care and Education Fieldwork (3 credits)


(1) This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in Reading, English, and Mathematics as well as other pre-requisites and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.

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