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Pursuing your Early Childhood Education

Why should YOU choose to further your education as an Early Childhood Professional?  

Pursuing your education in early childhood education has a host of benifts for yourself and the children you work with.  It can open up career opportunites, provide a better understanding of how a child learns and develops, and builds your credibilty and trust as an early childhood professional.  

There are many options along with financial support to help you achieve your goals. 

Child Development Associate - CDA

The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education, and it is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in the early childhood profession.   The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards that guide early childhood professionals toward becoming qualified educators of young children.

The CDA Council works to ensure that the nationally transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.

Advantages of having a CDA

  • Advance your career

  • Meet job requirements

  • Reinforce your commitment to early childhood education

  • Provide parents with peace of mind

  • Understand developmentally appropriate practice

  • Increase your confidence

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for the CDA credential, you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, although the organization now allows select third and fourth-year high school students opportunities to qualify. In addition to meeting educational and experience requirements, you must submit documented verification of your work with children.

You must complete 120 hours of CDA-approved, postsecondary education. You can meet this requirement through certificate or degree programs offered by several colleges and universities. Coursework focuses on CDA-content areas such as child development and effective program operation.

Moreover, you will need to complete 480 hours of professional child care experience in the setting for which you're applying. A CDA advisor needs to observe and document your interaction with children after you apply for the credential. You must submit a file containing work-related reference materials and parent-opinion questionnaires. After you've fulfilled the necessary education and work experience requirements, you'll need to send in your completed application and transcript.

Verification Visit and Award

Once your application has been approved, the Council for Professional Recognition (CPR) will schedule a verification visit. During the visit, a representative will collect your professional resource file, administer oral and written examinations and conduct an interview. The CPR will then review your documentation and, if they approve, award your credential within three months of the visit. You can renew your credential after 3-5 years by providing proof of an updated pediatric first-aid certification, at least 80 hours of work experience and membership in an early childhood organization. Continuing education requirements must also be fulfilled.

CDA Scholarship Opportunities 

KCCTO CDA Training Tracks and Scholarships

Information Sorced from

Accreditation offers national recognition to family child care programs meeting the highest standards for home-based early care and education.  It helps parents recognize and choose high quality family child care, that honors diversity and reflects cultural competency. Accreditation allows providers the flexibility to implement standards through the lens of diversity and child-centered care. Accreditation encompasses a comprehensive set of standards broken down into five core competencies:

  • Relationships

  • The Environment

  • Learning Activities

  • Safety and Health

  • Professional & Business Practices

NAFCC administers the only national system designed for family child care providers. Accreditation is awarded for family child care providers who meet the eligibility requirements and the Quality Standards for NAFCC Accreditation.

Family child care providers achieve this high level of quality through a process that examines all aspects of the family child care program, i.e. relationships, the environment, developmental learning activities, safety, health, and professional and business practices.

More Information on Accreditation

NAFCC Accreditaion

Information Sorced from
College Degree

Associate’s Degree 

Associate degrees in early childhood education prepare students for successful careers working with young children by providing foundational learning in education and development. An early childhood education degree opens the doors to many exciting careers in childcare. Becoming a preschool teacher, a family childcare provider, a Head Start teacher, or a center director are all possibilities.

Allen County

Butler County

Johnson County Community College


Bachelor’s Degree Information

The Bachelor of Science in Education will prepare you for a career in early childhood programs, serving as a teacher, administrator, or coordinator. According to the Kansas Department of Education, teachers with an early childhood unified endorsement can teach regular and special education at the birth to third-grade level. 

Fort Hays State University

Kansas State University

Kansas University

Emporia State University

Walden University – online program

Scholarship Opportunites for Assosciates and Bacholor Degrees

Kansas Promise Scholarship

KCCTO Scholarships

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