Training Handbook

Section 2.A.
College Training
CDA Training Policy

College Training

Section II.   A    CDA Training Policy

Procurement and renewal of the CDA is primarily the responsibility of the Teacher. Assistance from HSGD will be provided through the efforts of the Human Resources Department, Training , Site Manager and an advisory staff member (Education Specialist or experienced Teacher).  HSGD will only fund and recognize college child development courses for current staff to obtain their CDA.  The preferred courses are CDA 1, CDA 2 and CDA3 since these are designed specifically of obtaining the CDA.

Part One: Procedures and Responsibilities for obtaining the initial CDA certificate:

  1. Teacher responsibilities for obtaining their CDA: Any college course taken by a Teacher toward the CDA (as well as an AA degree) must be successfully completed within the original time frame of the course, and the Teacher must make a grade of a C or better. Taking an incomplete in a course or failure of a course could indicate a lack of knowledge and/or proficiency in child care and education.

    1. By 12 months of employment the Teacher will
      bullethave completed a minimum of one college course (CD course),

      have on file in their education folder in the Site Manager's office (copy sent to Training) the CDA application request, and - begun working on their portfolio

    2. By 18 months of employment the Teacher will
      bullethave completed two college courses (CD courses),
      bulletcompleted their portfolio, and
      bullethave their CDA Assessment form completed and submitted to Training.

    3. By 24 months of employment the Teacher will
      bullethave CDA certificate posted in classroom with copies sent to Training and Human Resources, or
      bullethave all materials for Assessment Request submitted to Training.

  2. Human Resources Department responsibilities to assist Teachers to obtain their CDA:

    1. The Human Resources Department will include in New Employee Orientation our agency's requirements concerning CDA acquisition and retention for all Teachers.

    2. On the Teacher's ninety-day evaluation review and the one-year-of-employment anniversary date the Human Resources Department will forward to the Teacher's Site Manager an employee review form or evaluation form that will include a review of the CDA process.

  3. Site Manager's responsibilities to assist Teachers to obtain their CDA:

    1. The Site Manager may allow Teachers to attend CDA classes at their discretion. It is recommend that the employee have completed their 90-day probationary period, but this is not required. If a Teacher has not attended the required classes, the Site Manager will be held accountable for this.

    2. The Site Manager will monitor the process of the CDA acquisition for all new Teachers. Parts of this process can be delegated to the Education Specialist.


      The Site Manager will include in the new Teacher's 90-day evaluation review an outline of steps the Teacher will continue or start for procurement of the CDA.


      The Site Manager will conduct the new Teacher's first annual employee evaluation and verify that the Teacher has successfully completed at least one college course toward the CDA certification process, has a CDA advisor/consultant they are working with, has sent off for the application and received the packet of materials, and has begun work on the portfolio.


      The Site Manager will conduct a CDA review (with the Teacher and the advisor) at eighteen months of employment to verify that the Teacher has successfully completed two college courses, is maintaining a current Training Log, has completed the portfolio and forwarded the Assessment request to Training.

    3. The Site Manager will conduct a monthly review of CDA status for all Center Teachers by checking to make sure that all CDA certificates (or clean copies) are posted in each classroom and that only current CDA certificates are posted.

    4. If CDA status of one or more Teachers in a Center are delinquent, it will be required of the appropriate Associate Head Start Director to begin disciplinary action with the Site Manager with written timelines of correcting this Head Start Standards discrepancy.

    5. The Site Manager will make sure that the Teacher Assistant's "CDA Progress" sheet is posted near the door of the Teacher Assistant's classroom (where the CDA certificate should be posted) and that it is correctly updated.

  4. Advisor responsibilities to assist Teachers to obtain their CDA:

    1. The advisor will be chosen by the Teacher (Education Specialist or experience Teacher) will

      bulletprovide coaching and encouragement to the Teacher seeking the CDA,
      bulletConduct reviews of the various elements of the Assessment Request packet with the candidate,
      bulletConduct reviews of the portfolio materials,
      bulletMake classroom observations with positive, constructive feedback, and

      Conduct mock verbal tests as to the candidates proficiency in the eight content areas of the CDA.

    2. The advisor will be a link between the CDA candidate, Site Manager and Training as to needed training to enhance classroom, professional or communication skills.

  5. Training responsibilities to assist Teachers to obtain their CDA:
    1. Training will process all CDA Assessment Request as well as provide payment of all fees, except initial request for application. Training will forward packet with payment to Washington.

    2. Training will provide, through a local community college, three CDA courses for new Teachers to prepare them for the CDA. Training will cover tuition fees and text book fees.  The Teacher who takes a course on other than normal working hours will be reimbursed for these class hours during the same week the class is taken, but the time that the Teacher takes the course and the reimbursement of time, must be agreed upon by the employee and supervisor prior to taking the course.  It must be understood that there will be no financial reimbursement, but HSGD will reimburse time for time.  The reimbursement of time for a CDA course is limited to the Teacher taking only one course at a time.  If a Teacher wants to take two or more courses at the same time, HSGD will pay for tuition and books, but will only reimburse time for one course.

    3. Training will process the paper work for the pay increase for teachers who begin their CDA and for Teachers who complete their CDA.  The Teacher must send the required form (Teachers Request for a Pay Raise for Educational Achievement) to Training, and Training will assure validation and forward this information to the Human Resources Department.

    4. Training will email at the beginning of each month (August through May) a list of CDA Teachers whose CDAs will expire within the following 4 months.

Part Two: Procedures and Responsibilities for renewal of the CDA certificate:

  1. Teacher responsibilities for renewing their CDA:
    1. Within the second year of having a three year CDA certificate or the fourth year of a five year certificate, the Teacher must complete a college course or obtain 4.5 CEUs. This training must be applicable to CDA renewal guidelines.

    2. No later than 2 months and no earlier than 4 months prior to the expiration date of the CDA the Teacher must submit to Training all materials needed to apply for CDA renewal.

    3. Any Teacher who has not renewed their CDA prior to the expiration of the certificate will be placed on 90-day probation and is required to show renewal certificate or documentation of appropriate materials sent to Training before the end of the 90-day period.

  2. CDA Reporting Guidelines:

    1. Any Teacher who requests to take a college course for preparation toward the CDA or renewal of the CDA must forward to Training prior to enrollment in the course a completed College Course Request Form.

    2. All documents sent to Training related to the procurement of the CDA, including the CDA certificate, must have included on the document the Teacher's Staff ID number.

    3. Clean copies of CDA certificates are to be sent to Training and the Human Resources Department within five working days of receipt of this document.

  3. CDA Deadline Extensions

    1. If a Teacher due to extenuating circumstances, is not able to meet the CDA timelines for procurement or renewal, a time extension can be requested by the Site Manager and the Teacher. This document must be prepared and signed by both individuals. This document must contain the following information:


      reason for the extension,


      description of deficiencies


      specific dates of deficiency corrections, and


      an end date of completion of requirements or termination date.


      This letter of extension request must be forwarded and approved by the Site Manager´┐Żs Associate Head Start Director, the Head Start Director and copies with all approval signatures sent to Training and the Human Resources Department.

  4. CDA Exceptions:

    1. If a Teacher has a college degree from an accredited college and the degree is in Child Development, Early Childhood Education or an equivalent degree , the Teacher is not required to have a CDA certificate.

    2. If a Teacher Assistant is within their first two years of employment they are not required to have a CDA certificate.

    3. Early Head Start Teachers are required by Head Start Standards to have completed their CDA after one year of employment and this policy's timelines do not apply to Early Head Start Teachers.

    4. Under special circumstances Head Start will pay CDA course costs, including books, for other non teaching staff if the staff member has worked for the agency for more than one year, has the recommendation of their supervisor, has included becoming a Teacher or Teacher Assistant on their Career Track form, and the person completes the College Course Request Form.   This benefit will not include time off work to take CDA courses.

    5. HSGD may also pay for CDA course costs, including books, for Substitute Teachers who have a minimum of 6 months of substitute work in our Centers, have expressed an interest in working for HSGD as a Teacher, have the recommendation of their supervisor, and complete the College Course Form (they must use the delegate format since they will not have access to the employee database).

    6. HSGD may also pay for CDA course costs, including books, for Parents who have well above average amount of volunteer time in our classrooms, have expressed an interest in working for HSGD as a Teacher, have the recommendation of their supervisor, and complete the College Course Form (they must use the delegate format since they will not have access to the employee database).

 Part Three: Agency obligations in providing time for the college classes involved to acquire the CDA.

The CDA certificate does not require the college classes provided by the local community colleges, but our agency requires college classes and strongly encourages these three classes (CDA 1, CDA 2 and CDA 3).

As mandated by Head Start Standards all classroom teachers must have a College degree (Associates Degree or higher) in Child Development, Early Childhood Education or an Equivalent degree, and assistant teachers must have a CDA by the end of their second year of employment as an assistant teacher or must have an Associate degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or Child Development.  

It is also mandated by federal wage and hour law that for any required job training, the employer must provide time and funding for the training.  This is a difficult task for our agency since we are also required by State Licensing and the Head Start Standards to provide at all times a minimum staffing ratio in each of our classrooms.

In order to pursue this goal of providing work time and account for classroom coverage HSGD has set the following policy:

bullet All non degreed teachers must be allowed work time to attend CDA classes, and these classes and the necessary books will be paid for by HSGD.  In order for this to have less impact on staffing ratios, no teacher can take more than one course at a time on HSGD time, unless it can be shown that it will not affect staffing ratios.  (For example: a teacher could take two mini-mester courses in the summer between the time the teacher returns from vacation and before the children return to the Center.)   
bullet When the teacher takes the CDA course it is up to the discretion of the supervisor. 
bullet Traditionally nap-time courses have been helpful, but this could still cause staffing ratio problems, especially if there are vacancies in the Center.  
bullet After-hour courses are also an option as long as the teacher's schedule is adjusted to give them back the classroom training hours that we are required to give them for this training, and the schedule adjustment must be made in the same week as the training.  (For example:  a teacher takes a CDA II class from 6 - 8 every Wednesday evening at Eastfield college, HSGD must adjust the teacher's schedule so they get back these two hours during each week they attend class.  This could be done by giving them an extra 30 minutes added to their lunch time on Monday through Thursday or by having them leave two hours early on Friday afternoon.)
bullet  HSGD will not pay overtime for a teacher to take a required course during non scheduled working hours, such as evening or weekend courses.
bullet  If a teacher wants to complete the CDA more quickly than the traditional three semesters of CDA courses, HSGD encourages this initiative and will pay for all courses and books.  However, HSGD cannot allow time off work for more than one course at a time.  Taking more than one course a semester is not required by HSGD and it must be understood by all; that the optional time investment by the teacher for the second course will be on the teacher's own time. 


"I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific."
Lily Tomlin

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