Do you work for a child care program in Maryland? Learn 3 easy steps to apply for a CDA scholarship!

February 23, 2021

If you work in child care in Maryland, we have exciting news for you! We are delighted to announce that early childhood educators in Maryland are now eligible to receive full funding to apply for their Child Development Associate® (CDA). Find out more about this opportunity for Maryland-based educators and learn how to submit your funding application below. Funding is limited, so apply today!

What is the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Child Development Associate® (CDA) funding program?

This program is a partnership between the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood, Maryland Family Network, and the Council for Professional Recognition. Our unique partnership, sponsored by a Maryland State Department of Education grant, provides funding to support Maryland-based child care providers in obtaining the CDA credential.

Who is eligible to apply for CDA funding through the program?

All registered family child care providers and licensed child care center staff who work in Maryland are eligible.

What does the CDA funding cover?

This grant covers the following:

  • $425 initial online assessment fee
  • $125 renewal online application fee
  • $33 for the Child Development Associate® (CDA) National Credentialing Program and CDA Competency Standards book for the following settings: Preschool, Infant-Toddler and Family Child Care (shipping included in the cost of the required standards book)

Is there a funding application deadline?

Since funding is limited, we encourage applicants to submit applications as expediently as possible.

What is the CDA?

The CDA is a globally recognized early childhood education credential. Over 800,000 CDA credentials have been issued to early childhood professionals since 1985. Learn more about the Child Development Associate® (CDA) here.

Why should I apply for my CDA?

The CDA is an important stepping stone in every early childhood educator’s career. It demonstrates knowledge, skills and abilities when working with young children, as well as commitment to career advancement and professionalism.

Candidates from all levels of education and experience gain professional development insights from the CDA certification process, since the evaluation curriculum addresses key practices in the constantly evolving early childhood education field.

The credential opens up opportunities for further career development in early childhood education, and is among the top 20 most requested certifications by employers, according to Indeed.

How do I apply for funding through the Maryland State Department of Education?

Ready to apply to earn your CDA credential? If so, applying for funding to cover your application fees is easy! Follow these 3 steps to apply.

1. Set up your profile through the Council for Professional Recognition
First, create an account in the CDA application system. Once you have created an account, you will be assigned a 7-digit customer number ID number, which you will use to complete the next step in the process.

If you are applying to renew your CDA: first, log into YourCouncil to access your 7-digit customer ID number.

2. Apply for funding through the MSDE
Next, complete the Maryland State Department of Education funding form, including your 7-digit customer ID number.

3. Complete your CDA application payment using the Maryland State Department of Education voucher

Last, once you are ready to begin preparing for your CDA exam, you may finalize your application payment on YourCouncil by using the Maryland State Department of Education voucher number that you will receive via email.
This email will arrive after your employment status has been verified by the Maryland State Department of Education (which may take up to 10 days). Please enter your voucher number at “check out” to complete the payment process.

We look forward to receiving your application!


This publication was produced as a work for hire for the benefit of, and with funds from, the Maryland State Department of Education.


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