Teacher Credential

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™

About the CDA

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ is a globally renowned credential that is awarded to teachers who meet a specific set of competencies. This credential is designed to ensure the teacher is able to meet the needs of children and is able to work with parents and other adults to nurture the children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth in a child development framework.


In February 2013 graduate first group in UAE

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The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ represents the crossroad where education and experience meet. Any teacher who is working with young children, under the age of 5, may be eligible to apply for her CDA.

For example, the CDA would be suitable for: A lead teacher who already holds an academic degree, but needs to gain hands-on practical skill and competency in early care and education, or an assistant teacher with experience but little formal education and a vision to advance her career.

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™

On November 26th, 2012, the Council for Professional Recognition and Arabian Child signed a partnership to bring the globally renowned CDA credential to the Arab Region, starting with a pilot phase which included 30 teachers from nurseries, preschools, and government kindergartens. During the pilot, teams from both organizations worked to contextualize the system and make it appropriate for the local Arab region. The Council for Professional Recognition gained international praise and recognition from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and early educators have earned CDA credentials through Arabian Child for the past three years. In October 2015, Arabian Child was recognized as the CDA affiliate for the Middle East region; including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. Candidates from these countries can now apply through Arabian Child to obtain their CDA credential.

CDA accreditation in the Middle East

In the United Arab Emirates, the CDA is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA). According to MOSA Early Years Training Plan, a teacher with a CDA credential can be a lead classroom supervisor and will only require 18 hours of annual professional development training. Early years teachers who wish to become lead classroom supervisors can now do so if they have the CDA credential.

About the CDA Council

The Council for Professional Recognition (The Council) promotes improved performance and recognition of professionals in the early childhood education of children ages birth to 5 years old. The Council is a nationally recognized and globally renowned innovator in the field of early care and education. The Council works to ensure that all professional early childhood educators and caregivers meet the developmental, emotional, and educational needs of our nation’s youngest children. www.CDAcouncil.org

About Arabian Child’s role in supporting CDA candidates

Arabian Child is the 1st international partner and Council for Professional Recognition Affiliate for the following countries: Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Arabian Child is the leading contributor to quality improvement of early childhood education in the Middle East.

Arabian Child helped catalyze the sector to move towards improving their policies for regulating the quality of early childhood education and care. Arabian Child seeks to support all CDA candidates through their application and credentialing process.

The role of Arabian Child is to ensure that the candidate meets the requirements of the CDA Credential, to provide them with support, answer questions that they may have about the CDA, guide them through registration, send their registration forms to the CDA Council, remind candidates of their ready-to-schedule notice, help them find a CDA PD Specialist, help answer any questions they may have about their exam at Pearson Vue, receive candidate certification and provide it to the candidate, facilitate appeals, and liaise with the CDA council regarding any other issues regarding the candidates. Arabian Child also provides potential candidates FREE orientation sessions, guidance, and counseling to discuss their professional needs in both English or Arabic.

About Arabian Child’s role in supporting CDA candidates

“I felt like I was doing something for me and by obtaining a CDA it gave me much more confident about myself.” – CDA Teacher

“The CDA is for all early years teachers, regardless of your qualification, the CDA ensures that you meet international best practice and are providing young children with what they need at this vulnerable age” – Samia Kazi, CEO, Arabian Child

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