14 November 2017

Do You Work in a Child Care Center? New for Spring: Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential

SUNY SCCC’s Early Childhood program, part of the Division of Liberal Arts, surveyed Capital Region child care centers as to how the College’s program could better serve them, their employees and the families they work with, and the result is the new Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Component of the ECH Program.

Beginning in January 2018, SUNY SCCC will offer college courses for child care center employees to earn this national credential that is necessary for them to become head teachers and meets the standards of QualitystarsNY (which provides rating systems for quality of an early care and learning program). In Spring 2018, the College will offer one online course (ECH 121: Introduction to Early Childhood) and one evening on-campus course (ECH 123: Curricular Methods I and Assessment). Then, in Fall 2018, the College will offer one hybrid (online and classroom) course (ECH 131: Early Childhood Field Instruction and Seminar I). These three courses meet the eight CDA education areas and will encompass assignments that are aligned with the completion of the CDA portfolio.

The College designed the CDA courses to be flexible, allowing those currently working in child care centers to complete coursework in an online format during their work breaks, in the evening and/or on weekends, and to attend classroom instruction after work, once a week, for 15 weeks to complete coursework. 

Professor Tamara Calhoun, of the Division of Liberal Arts, was instrumental in designing the new credential. “This Early Childhood CDA component benefits our community in many facets,” she said. “First, students who completed the credential at SUNY SCCC will be college-educated teachers who will provide individualized, developmentally appropriate education and care to meet the interests and needs of every child and family. Second, teachers who wish to further their education will already have 10 credits (three courses) toward the Early Childhood certificate and associate’s degree at SUNY SCCC.” She added, “Research from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation shows that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the return will be between $4 and $7 in reduced remedial services and increased earnings.”

Courses will be taught by SUNY SCCC Early Childhood faculty with more than 20 years of practical knowledge in the field of early childhood education, who have experience teaching in classrooms (birth to 8 years of age) and administrating child care centers, family child care, school aged programs, Head Start programs, and nursery schools.

For more information on the new CDA Credential Component at SUNY SCCC, please contact Professor Calhoun at or (518) 381-1295.