Complete Our Online CDA Classes at Your Own Pace

Take the first step toward a career in child care with Penn Foster College’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Preparation program. This affordable, online program will help you prepare for the CDA Credential application — the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education. Earning college-level credits at Penn Foster and a CDA Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition can be key stepping stones for advancement in this field.
Prepare for CDA Credentialing
This certificate program is comprised of child development online courses that will help you gain the knowledge and skills to work toward earning your CDA credential. Upon graduation, you will meet many of the prerequisites you need to sit for the Child Development Associate exam, including completion of 120 formal education hours and a professional portfolio.

Penn Foster College is a partner of the Council for Professional Recognition and has earned the Council's CDA Gold Standard for its Child Development Associate (CDA) Undergraduate Certificate program.
Prepare for CDA Credentialing
Why Choose Penn Foster College?
At up to $79 per credit, and 3 easy payment plans to choose from, we can help you fit college into your budget.
On-Demand Learning
On-Demand Learning
No set class schedules so you set the pace and study when you can. Access instructors and coaches through text, phone and email or chat with fellow classmates online.
Prepare for in-demand careers
Prepare for in-demand careers
You can gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials to move toward success along a new or existing career path.
Mobile Friendly
Mobile-Friendly Flexibility
Our 24/7, on-demand learning platform is easy to use – at home or on the go – and you decide when to start and take your classes.
Personalized Goal Tracking
Personalized Goal Tracking
With our progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, you can customize your study and exam schedule to help meet your personal goals.
All-Inclusive Program
Your tuition includes access to instructors and teaching assistants, all of your textbooks, unlimited career support and even a personal Success Coach!

Why Choose Penn Foster College's CDA Credential preparation program?

Your program will focus on one of three settings aligned with the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, which you will select after you enroll. Choose from:
  • Infant/Toddler Center-Based CDA
  • Preschool Center-Based CDA
  • Family Child Care CDA
In our CDA classes, you will prepare portfolio items, participate in live webinars, and complete course assignments specific to CDA requirements. All instructors in our program are Professional Development Specialists as approved by the CDA Council.
Child Student and Teacher
Student Experience
A Customized Learning Experience
With interactive, mobile-friendly courses, progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, and personal coaches to help you succeed, the Penn Foster Experience (PFx) is an online learning experience like no other!

CDA Credential Preparation Certificate Course Details

In Penn Foster College's CDA program, you'll cover lessons that will help you fulfill the educational component and build a professional portfolio — which are some of the key items necessary to begin your application to the Council for your Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. You'll learn about health, safety, and nutrition; child, family and community; child growth and development; and the CDA setting of your choice. Additionally, the CDA Competency Standards book is included in your program and will align with the setting that you choose.
Penn Foster Curriculum

Important State Requirements: Be sure to check here for the requirements in your state.


With flexible, affordable payment options, you can get started on your CDA Credential Preparation Certificate online today.
  • I always recommend Penn Foster to others because its an affordable and flexible way to get an education.
    Haleema N.
    Penn Foster Graduate
  • I would recommend Penn Foster to anyone interested in online learning because it offers self-paced and affordable programs that fit any lifestyle.
    Joanne R.
    Penn Foster Student
Ready To Enroll?

Get started today on your path towards certification and a career in child care with Penn Foster College’s online undergraduate certificate program.

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