Our CDA Program has been suspended due to changes in education requirements for Early Childhood Educators and funding available due to these changes. Please read our complete letter regarding this decision.
Blueprints for Learning 2017 CDA + Mentoring Program
This year’s program is fully enrolled and in progress. We are very proud to announce that all of the students enrolled in our 2017 Program received full scholarships for books and tuition from Washington Scholarships.
Graduation for 2017 Class
We anticipate a graduation date of December 14th, 2017.
Watch this short video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University to get a better understanding of the importance of the work we do educating and mentoring adults who work closely with young children.
What is the CDA?
The Child Development Associate (CDA) is a nationally recognized credential in early childhood education offered by the Council for Professional Recognition, a national organization committed to improving the quality of childcare throughout the United States. The training is specific to infant/toddler, preschool-age, and family settings.
National eligibility requirements for individuals interested in pursuing the CDA are:
- 18 years of age or older
- High school diploma or GED
- At least 480 hours of work experience with a designated age group
- Currently working in a licensed childcare program
Working on-site with the students, the CDA training program has experienced the benefits of working with the childcare program as a whole. Therefore, we give enrollment preference to teachers from childcare sites interested in overall quality improvement.
How does Blueprints for Learning CDA + Mentoring Program work?
Since 2002 Blueprints for Learning has offered an expanded CDA program which includes weekly in-person classes and quarterly on-site mentoring and support to childcare teachers to prepare them for their final CDA Assessment. The unique components of our CDA Training model make us a program that works for those employed in childcare.
Our training approach is learner-centered, focusing on the strengths, interests and needs of each student. Instructors strive to build a supportive, individualized relationship with each student working with their particular childcare setting and age group.
The program is also focused on supporting the application of learning in the childcare setting through regular on-site visits that provide individualized feedback with both written and photo documentation. This approach models the learning principles the students are learning to use with children. “Learning to see learning” is a key student goal that runs throughout the CDA Training Program.
What are the program components?
The CDA Training Program is a unique blend of classroom and hands-on learning components including:
- 120 hours of formal training during one nightly class per week for one year
- Bi-monthly on-site mentoring to help apply child development knowledge into day-to-day practice with young children
- Opportunity to network with other childcare professionals and share experiences
- Quarterly Childcare Directors’ Group Meetings
You’ll receive Comprehensive Professional Development that aligns with the quality improvements required by Washington’s Early Achievers (QRIS) program.
Childcare professionals who receive their CDA credential are eligible for 7 college credits toward an Early Childhood Education degree in the Washington state community college system (and a $150 bonus from Washington Scholarships for Child Care Professionals if the program is participating in Early Achievers).
“When I came into this field, I saw children as a burden. Now I look at children as people who need to be heard, validated, loved, and taught just like I do as an adult. Watching them grow and learning how to observe and document this growth has strengthened me personally and professionally.”
Shay, West Central Community Center, CDA Graduate 2014-15
“As I look back on my journey I can’t help but notice how much I’ve matured. I’ve found a whole new love for my job. I have built the most incredible relationships with the children in my care. I have moved beyond ‘helping kids’. This class has helped me become the person I’m supposed to be.”
Morgan, CDA Graduate 2013-14
“The number one unique factor of this teaching program is the mentoring – it is life changing. Having my instructor come to my center encouraged me to a new level of professionalism and was also educational to the entire staff.”
Laurie Schroeder, CDA Graduate Sunshine Daycare and Preschool
“The CDA program has not only benefited our teachers, but the program has reached out to the children and their parents. Our staff have become more professional, they have obtained a confidence level that we have not seen in the past.”
Cindy Morris, CDA Graduate Center Director, Little Dickens Learning Center
“One of the most important things I’ve learned this year is how a child learns. To watch play and think about their thought process and what ‘wheels’ are turning. Through doing this, I’ve built the most incredible relationships with the children. This journey has helped me form relationships that I could never have imagined having in my life!”
Leanne Ricci, CDA Graduate Harvard