About the Council

We’re all about our early childhood educators, children and stakeholders.

Council for Professional Recognition

For more than four decades, the Council has pivoted to respond to evolving best practices in early childhood education, advances in technology, and the growing diversity of individuals who are pursuing ECE as a career for the betterment of our profession, our educators and our children.

View our 2023 State of the Council Report.

Our Vision

The Council for Professional Recognition envisions a society where all children learn and thrive in environments led by competent, valued early childhood educators.

Our Mission

The Council for Professional Recognition advances career pathways for early childhood educators through high-quality, competency-based credentialing.

Core Values

The Core Values of the Council are the bedrock of our organizational culture, guiding our behaviors, actions, connections and engagements with others. These five principles are not only integral to our distinctiveness but also deeply embedded standards upheld by our staff on a daily basis.

  • We Embrace Growth. Striving for continuous improvement, high-quality work, informed decision making, and a commitment to delivering exceptional results.
  • We Have Integrity. Demonstrating honesty, ethics, and accountability in all actions and decisions.
  • We Are United. Encouraging teamwork, collaboration, and a sense of belonging to achieve shared goals.
  • We Communicate Effectively. Promoting open and honest communication, sharing information, and being accountable for actions.
  • We Are Respectful. Treating each other with dignity, valuing diverse perspectives, and fostering an inclusive environment.

The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™

In keeping with our goal to meet the growing need for qualified early child care and education staff, the Council administers the Child Development Associate® (CDA) National Credentialing Program. The CDA® Program is designed to assess and credential early childhood education professionals.

The Council recognizes and credentials professionals who work in all types of early care and education programs, including Head Start, pre-k, infant-toddler, family child care and home visitor programs.

The Council sets policies and procedures for assessment and credentialing, publishes the Competency Standards and other materials used for CDA credentialing, and administers the assessment.

History of the CDA® Credential

In the early 1970s, a group of innovative early childhood educators gathered to find ways to improve the quality of early care and education. The concept for the CDA® Credential was born out of those meetings. It was initially funded by what was then called the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). After several years of development, the first CDA was awarded in 1975.

A decade later, ACYF entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to create a separate nonprofit organization to administer the CDA Credential. That organization, the Council for Professional Recognition, began administering the CDA on September 1, 1985.

Over 1 million CDA credentials have been issued to date.

Our Executive Team

Calvin New Headshot 2023

Dr. Calvin Moore, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Headshots for Business Professionals

Janice Bigelow

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Andrew Davis

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Abena Ocran-Jackson

Vice President of Programs

Beth Heeb

Vice President of Quality Assurance and Research
Elisa Shepherd_VP Strategic Alliance

Elisa Shepherd

Vice President of Strategic Alliances
Janie Payne

Janie Payne

Vice President of People and Culture
Jose Porro

José Porro

Vice President of Information Technology

Usma Mohamed, Ed.D

Vice President of Brand Experience and Marketing

Our Governing Board

Albert Yeuk Yu Wat

Albert Yeuk Yu Wat

Senior Policy Director
Alliance for Early Success
Washington, DC

Ariel Ford

Division Child Development and Early Education for the Department of Health and Human Services
Raleigh, NC
Carla D Thompson Payton

Carla D. Thompson Payton

Chief Strategist and Impact Officer
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Battle Creek, MI

Dianna Wallace

Executive Director
Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children
Indianapolis, IN
Eric Daniels

Eric Daniels

Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Team
Manning and Napier
Rochester, NY

Sandy Baba, Ph.D.

Senior Adjunct Professor
Pacific Oaks College, Graduate School of Human Development
San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Shannon M. Bracamonte

Program Operations Director
Early Childhood Services Center of the University of New Mexico
Las Cruces, NM

Stacie G. Goffin Ed.D.

Goffin Strategy Group LLC
Boulder, CO

Yolanda Garcia, Ed.D

Assistant Professor
New Mexico State University

Contact Council Leadership