Through our partnership with the DC Office of the State Superintendent Education, scholars who complete the sequence of child development courses at IDEA are eligible to earn their Child Development Associate credential. Scholars who fulfill the CDA requirements and pass the exam receive their credential upon high school graduation. Credentialed graduates are eligible to work as teaching assistants for a licensed child care provider in DC and many other states. CDA certification can also be applied toward college credits if scholars wish to pursue their associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field. For example, Trinity University Washington gives its incoming students nine credits for their CDA credentials.
As part of DC’s initiative to increase the number of highly qualified child care workers in the city, OSSE helps prospective teachers find opportunities to continue their education while working in the field. For example, through the National Black Child Development Institute, individuals who have earned their CDA and who work at least 25 hours per week at a child care center are eligible to pursue an education degree and receive scholarship funding of up to 90% of their tuition. Some child care centers will also subsidize tuition for their employees. Many programs offer child care and transportation stipends for teaching assistants who are pursuing further education.