CDA Major Milestones

January 23, 2020

Published by CounciLINK on January 23, 2020


In the early ’70s, a group of innovative early childhood educators gathered to think about how to improve the quality of early childhood care and education. The concept for the CDA credential came out of those meetings and was initially funded by U.S. Department of Health &Human Services Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). After several years of development, the first CDA was awarded to Marie E. Wright on July 24, 1975 in Washington, DC.



NAEYC established the Council for Professional Recognition to serve as the national body to administer the CDA credential. The Council took full responsibility on September 1, 1985.



Head Start amendments require their classrooms to have at least one teacher with a minimum of a CDA. The amendments amount to a commitment to provide all children — regardless of their circumstances — with quality early educators and the chance for lifelong success.


Take a walk down memory lane and learn more about how the CDA has affected the ECE community over time.

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