Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Child Development Associates (CDA) Essentials

Child Development Associates (CDA) Essentials Certificate

If you are currently working with young children and want to improve your skills as a teacher and care provider as well as move up the Career Lattice while continuing to work, then this program is for you. Choose BTC’s Child Development fully online program to jump start your career in early care and education. The three CDA Essentials courses count as the 120 hours of formal education required before taking the assessment for CDA credentialing. Coursework supports the development of your CDA portfolio and prepares you for the CDA assessment.

The CDA Credential is the most widely recognized and portable credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. The three CDA Essentials courses are recognized at colleges in Washington and throughout the county, usually transferring in as 10-12 credits in Early Childhood Education programs of study. The BTC courses are taught by MERIT approved faculty.

Program Facts

80% Average placement rate for program graduates

Wage potential $34,632 annually

Employment and wage data sources


Jobs & Employment

A challenging career in a growing field—what more could you ask for? Choose BTC’s Child Development program to begin or move forward in your early childhood career working in a child care center, family home child care, Head Start or ECEAP, or as a nanny or an au pair.

Employers such as child care centers, preschools, and individual families hire our highly prepared graduates to fill a growing need for workers in the industry. If you enjoy working with children and their families, you should check out the Child Development Associates (CDA) Essentials program.

Potential Positions

Child care providers are in demand. They work in a variety of settings from in the home to public and private settings.

Courses

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  • Quarter 1: 4 Credits
  • ECED 120CDA Essentials 1: Intro to ECE/Hlth, Safety, Nutrition4 credits

    This course is one of the three courses that provide the essential coursework for the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA). Topics to be covered in course one include safe and healthy environments, ways children grow, and an introduction to early childhood. Fieldwork is required in addition to coursework.

    Prerequisite:
    Currently working with young children in a paid or volunteer position.

    Future Offerings
    9/25-12/3Online JOHANSEN COpenings: 14
  • Quarter 2: 4 Credits
  • ECED 121CDA Essentials 2: Child Dev./Learning Environments4 credits

    This course is one of three courses that provide the essential coursework for the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA). Topics to be covered in course two include children's social and emotional development; physical and intellectual competence; and curriculum development. Fieldwork is required in addition to coursework.

    Prerequisite:
    Currently working with young children in a paid or volunteer position.
  • Quarter 3: 4 Credits
  • ECED 122CDA Essentials 3: Working with Families/Professionalism4 credits

    This course is one of the three courses that provide the essential coursework for the nationally recognized Child Development Associate (CDA). Topics to be covered in course three include family relationships; early childhood professionalism; and curriculum and portfolio development.

    Prerequisite:
    Currently working in an early childhood setting (volunteer or paid)
TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS12 credits

Program Entry Information

It is best for students to begin the Program by registering for ECED 120— CDA Essentials: Intro to ECE/Health, Safety & Nutrition fall quarter. However, students can begin the courses winter quarter or spring quarter as well.

Pre-Program Course Requirements

  • Students must have a minimum of a high school diploma/GED and should have 480 hours of experience working with children within the past three years when applying for the CDA Credential at the end of the BTC coursework.
  • It is recommended that students have good basic academic skills or enroll in basic skills courses to work on improving their reading, writing, and math skills.
  • Before taking the fully online courses, students should be confident about computer and study skills. Students will need access to a computer and the internet five out of seven days a week, for a total of ten or more hours a week for each four-credit class.

Program Application/Forms

  • This state funded program charges tuition based on residency. To establish residency, apply to BTC at www.btc.ctc.edu/apply. State “Child Development Essentials” as your intended program of study.

Program Outcomes

  • Establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment.
  • Advance children’s physical and intellectual development.
  • Support children's social and emotional development and provide positive guidance.
  • Establish positive and productive relationships with families.
  • Ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs.
  • Maintain a commitment to professionalism.

Cindy Johansen - Instructor image

Cindy Johansen


Instructor Information

    • Biography

      Cindy teaches in the Early Childhood Education department at BTC. She co-teaches the Child Development Essentials (CDA) short certificate program. She has a Masters degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and a Bachelors degree in Special Education from Western Washington University and has taught early childhood courses in Whatcom County for many years.

      Cindy is also adjunct faculty in the Early Childhood Education Program at Whatcom Community College. She has had prior work experience as the Head of Gardenview Montessori School, as an instructional assistant in a school district, as a special education preschool teacher, and as a University Intern Coordinator (student teacher supervisor) for Western Washington University.