Teaching Staff Qualifications
3-5 Teachers must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in early childhood education or a
related field (i.e. elementary education, social work, etc.). If the degree is in a related field, the
employee must demonstrate completion of at least six (6) courses in early childhood education
with at least one (1) year experience in teaching preschool children or complete a 3-5 CDA
within six (6) months of hire.
Early Head Start Teachers/Home Visitors
Early Head Start home visitors/teachers must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. and an Infant
Toddler CDA credential, or a degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field. If the
degree is in a related field, the employee must demonstrate completion of at least six (6) courses
in early childhood education with at least one (1) year experience in teaching preschool children
or complete a 0 - 3 CDA within 12 months of hire.
Paraeducators for both Head Start and Early Head Start must have a high school diploma or
G.E.D. and obtain a CDA credential either 0 – 3 or 3-5 within 24 working months of hire if they
have at least five (5) hours per week in the classroom. Childcare staff will receive six (6) two-
hour training sessions within their first year of hire, which will count towards the CDA
For extenuating circumstances the Executive Director or his/her designee and the CDA
Coordinator may grant an extension. CDA candidates will be notified in writing if approved for
Staff who desire, but are not required, to obtain a CDA credential may apply to the CIT
(Continuous Improvement Team) for approval. This is done by submitting a letter of request to
the CDA coordinator who, as an ad hoc member of the CIT, will make the request.
CDA – Section 8
Upon hire, all teaching staff (teachers, home visitors, paraeducators) will complete a Classroom
Staff Worksheet, which is sent to the CDA Coordinator. Center Coordinators are notified as to
whether this employee will need to attend CDA trainings.
CDA trainings are provided monthly by Wyoming Child and Family Development CDA trainers
at a designated time and place.
It is the responsibility of the CDA candidate and his or her supervisor to work out release time so
that the training may be attended. The time spent, both in travel and in training, is paid time.
If a scheduled CDA training is missed, the CDA Make-Up Guidelines must be followed.
The CDA advisors will guide the candidates through the process to obtain the CDA.
CDA – Section 8
CDA Homework/Make-Up Guidelines
These guidelines are to support CDA candidates and trainers in completing the CDA training in a
timely manner as required by Head Start Federal Regulations.
1. Candidates not attending a scheduled CDA training will be given a make-up packet for
the missed session. CDA trainers will see that the candidate gets the make-up packet.
2. Make-up packets must be completed and returned to the CDA trainers within 30 days. If
not returned, a letter will be sent to the direct supervisor through the CDA coordinator. A
copy will be given to the candidate.
3. Homework must be returned at the next CDA training. If not returned, a letter will be
sent to the direct supervisor through the CDA Coordinator. A copy will be given to the
4. Homework corrections and/or incomplete work must be resubmitted at the next CDA
5. Failure to comply with homework and make-up packet assignments in the required time
may result in a Performance Support Plan or other disciplinary measures as deemed
appropriate. Direct supervisors should contact CDA trainers for input.
CDA – Section 8
CDA Application Process
1. The advisors/trainers will help the candidate verify that they have completed:
120 clock hours of training (with at least 10 hours in each of the eight content
480 hours of experience working with children within the past five years
Autobiography (300 words)
6 Statements of Competency (200-500 words each)
Observation Instrument (completed by the advisor)
Parent Questionnaires (with 75% returned)
Direct Assessment Application
2. The Direct Assessment Application is sent to the Central Office by the 15th of the month
prior to the application date. (Application dates are ONLY Sept. 1, Dec. 1, March 1, and
June 1.) Along with the Direct Assessment Application, send the list of verified training
hours and the verification letter signed by the advisor.
3. A CDA Council Representative will contact you to set up your verification visit.
At this time you need to have in your possession:
Resource File (including copies of your autobiography and competency
Parent Questionnaires (in a sealed envelope)
Observation Instrument (in a sealed envelope)
4 Once you receive your CDA certificate you need to submit copies to:
5. If obtaining your CDA will allow you to get a pay increase based on the hiring scale, you
should work with your supervisor to complete a status form. Pay increases for CDA
certification will be effective one month after the effective date of the CDA certification.
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CDA Renewal Procedures
A CDA Credential is valid for three years from the date of award, after which it may be renewed
for five-year periods. A CDA Credential may be renewed only for the original setting, age-level
endorsement, and specializations. A Credential for a different setting, endorsement, or added
specialization may be earned by applying for a Second Setting CDA.
Under the renewal procedures, all staff must do the following:
Document proof of a current Red Cross or other agency First Aid Certificate.
Document proof of at least 4.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or a three-credit hour
course in early childhood education/child development. These hours must be in addition to
the original 120 clock hours or three formal or informal educational experiences required
when the candidate obtained the CDA Credential.
CEU’s may be accessed from Wyoming Children’s Action Alliance for any STARS hours
accumulated during the renewal period. Go to www.wykids.org to access your CDA renewal
Document proof of recent (within current year) work experience with young children (a
minimum of 80 hours).
Select an Early Childhood Education Professional to complete a Letter of Recommendation
Form regarding the staff member’s competence with young children. This will typically be
the Center Coordinator.
Document proof (within current year) of membership in a national or local early childhood
WCFD will provide you with a National Head Start Membership card.
The CDA Coordinator tracks the credential dates as held by Wyoming Child and Family
Development staff and will send letters of reminder for renewals well in advance of the
expiration date. If a staff member, required to have a CDA credential, fails to renew in a timely
manner the Procedures Regarding CDA Certification Issues Including Salary Adjustment, Job
Status and Training Cost is followed.
In addition to the above requirements these procedures must be followed:
Complete the Request for Training Form and submit to Central Office.
Complete the CDA Renewal Application Form. Send it, along with the above
documents, to the Central Office one month prior to your renewal date.
Send a copies of your new CDA certificate to the Central Office and the CDA
CDA – Section 8
PROCEDURES REGARDING CDA CERTIFICATION ISSUES
INCLUDING SALARY ADJUSTMENTS, JOB STATUS AND TRAINING
1. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE CDA CERTIFICATION PERIOD?
WCFD shall only consider current CDA certification as meeting the CDA requirement. At
the end of the initial three (3) year period the employee must obtain a renewed CDA
certification and keep it current according to CDA certification requirements. WCFD does
not recognize the two (2) year grace period allowed for renewal, as there is no current CDA
certification status during that two (2) year period. Therefore, employees, who must
maintain current CDA certification status as a requirement of continued employment, are
required to keep certification current at all times. It is the employee’s sole responsibility to
maintain current CDA certification as a condition of continued employment.
2. HOW DOES CDA CERTIFICATION AFFECT THE SALARY SCHEDULE?
A salary adjustment will be made on the first day of the next pay period following the date
that the certification status becomes effective or expires. If CDA certification expires, an
extension of the CDA salary scale status will be considered only upon receipt of a copy of
CDA renewal materials and a registered mail receipt documenting that the materials were
sent. Extensions may be granted for up to 90 days as approved by the Executive Director.
The employee’s CDA status adjustment on the salary schedule shall be reinstated the 1st day
of the next pay period after receipt of the CDA certificate at the WCFD Central Office.
3. HOW DOES CDA CERTIFICATION AFFECT JOB STATUS?
Employees, who have allowed CDA certification to expire and no longer meet the
requirements of their position, will not be able to continue employment with WCFD beyond
a 30-day period. Special consideration may be allowed for continued employment for
extreme or unusual circumstances as approved by the Executive Director or his/her
4. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CURRENT
a. If a WCFD employee has allowed their CDA certification status to expire, and they are
recommended for continued substitute employment contingent upon acquiring their
CDA certification, any fees required shall be the employee’s financial responsibility
including the assessment fee. Training time and related expenses to fulfill the
requirements would be at the employee’s expense.
b. If an employee obtained an initial CDA through other resources than WCFD funding and
allowed their certification to expire, WCFD shall consider this a new employee status
5. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN EMPLOYEE ALLOWS CDA CERTIFICATION TO
EXPIRE WHILE WORKING IN A POSITION THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE CDA
The employee in this situation shall be considered as a new employee to the position
requiring the CDA status and shall enter into the CDA training process as any other new
CDA – Section 8