Preparing for the CDA Verification Visit - Advice from Our Faculty to You

One looming and stressful hurdle to jump over in your journey to becoming an educator is the CDA Assessment. 

The CDA Assessment (Child Development Associate) is the most recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and provides a stepping-stone for your future career in ECE. The assessment is divided into five parts: the written exam, the oral interview, the verification visit, the parent opinion questionnaire and a review of your professional resource file.

The CDA Credential is awarded to future educators who meet a minimum standard for framework and planning of children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth in the stages of child development. Upon earning the CDA Credential, there’s an opportunity for continued advancement in your ECE career and a platform to gain professional recognition and development.

With the semester coming to an end and graduation right around the corner, our faculty dished its insider advice for beating test-stress and how to ace the CDA Verification Visit portion of the assessment (spoiler: also contains common mistakes to avoid!).

Advice for Students for the CDA Verification Visit

Before the Verification Visit students should prepare by:

During the Verification Visit students should:

  • Dress and communicate professionally, as if you are going into a job interview.
  • Arrive early for your Verification Visit appointment.
  • Focus on functional areas and mock interview questions.
  • Remember to speak to about developmentally appropriate practice and support healthy development across the all areas whenever possible.
  • Share best practices in education, especially early childhood education whenever possible.
  • State the goal of early childhood professionals as: To support and educate children, families, and our communities.
  • State your responsibility as an early childhood professional as: To advocate for children and families and support all children in having a voice.
  • Talk about the critical importance of supporting children and families, as well as being a resource for your community.
  • Talk about your knowledge that children develop at their own unique pace, and through observation and assessment you will be able to identify issues that warrant a closer look, as well as your responsibility in sharing community resources with parents in effort to meet individual needs.
  • Share that you know it is your responsibility to meet the individual developmental and learning needs of each and every child in your care.
  • Express your belief that all children can learn.
  • Express your belief and commitment to the practice of positive behavior guidance techniques and strategies as methods to reinforce, as well as change behavior.
  • Express your commitment to ethical practices especially in regard to the privacy of children and families.

Students should avoid:

  • Making generalizations about children and/or families during the Verification Visit portion of the CDA Assessment.
  • Making or expressing prejudgments about children and families during the Verification Visit portion of the CDA Assessment.
  • Talking about children, families, incidents that should be considered private (including sharing stories or using names) during the Verification Visit of the CDA Assessment.

With the advice and common mistakes to avoid shared by our faculty above, we know you will be prepared for a successful CDA Verification Visit. We encourage you to take a look at the CDA Resource Center, which will provide you with guidance for your entire CDA Assessment exam. Best of luck to you, future educator!

Thank you to our School of Education faculty, Jennifer Anderl, Ann Catlin and Lanette Sowle for giving advice for the CDA Assessment to our future educators. If you have questions or would like to connect with us, visit our Facebook page.

Kendall Bird

Kendall is a Social Media Strategist at Collegis Education who is focused on bringing awareness and engagement to Rasmussen College's social media properties. She is passionate about helping others, the power of education and building strategies that put the needs of students first. 


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