Academic Catalog

Child Development Associate, Certificate of Competency (ECA)

Effective: Fall 2007

The Child Development Associate Certificate of Competency (ECA) is intended for students who wish to earn the national Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) from the Council for Professional Recognition. Earning the national credential will prepare the student for entry-level positions in early care and education programs. The ECA certificate meets the required professional development for earning the CDA and prepares the student to complete their Professional Portfolio and Resource file. There are optional internships available to assist the student in acquiring the 480 hours of professional experience required to earn the CDA. There are additional requirements for assessment that are outside the scope of this certificate. See the Council for Professional Recognition website for more information on earning the CDA,

The ECA Certificate seamlessly articulates into the Associate of Art in Early Childhood Education program of study.

  • Identify the characteristics of  a safe, healthy learning environment
  • Describe how child development, curriculum and assessment interact to advance children’s  physical and intellectual competence
  • Describe positive guidance strategies to support social and emotional development
  • Describe strategies to establish positive and productive relationships with families
  • Describe how professionals contribute to a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs
  • Articulate a commitment to professionalism

The College will award a certificate of competency to students who complete an approved credit-bearing career program that requires less than 30 credits. General education courses may not be required for programs that have less than 30 credits. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. At least six credit hours must be in courses that are awarded grade points.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
ECE 100 Principles of Early Childhood Education 3
Second Semester
ECE 130 Early Childhood Development 3
Third Semester
ECE 112 Developing a Professional Portfolio and Resource File for ECE 1
ECE 140
Integrated Curriculum and Assessment
or Infant/Toddler Care and Education
Fourth Semester
Select optional credits from the following: 0-10
Early Childhood Education Laboratory I
ECE Internship (1 credit)
ECE Internship (2 credits)
ECE Internship (3 credits)
 Total Hours10-20

Southeast Center

Pennocks Bridge

100% online


Some online courses have field requirements or in person/proctored testing.  Online courses with these requirements have additional information posted under the COURSE DESCRIPTION section when you are registering.  Please make a note of it during registration.

Career Information for this Program

Child Development Associate (Certificate)

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