On March 9, 2022, the DIEEC held an information sharing session for early childhood professionals to explain more about DIEEC’s offerings and how DIEEC can support early childhood programs and professionals.

Below you will find the Questions & Answers from the March 9, 2022, Information Sharing Session

Understanding the CDA

1. What are the requirements to obtain a CDA?

To earn a CDA, there are requirements related to education, experience, and documentation. All requirements can be found at https://www.cdacouncil.org/en/.

EDUCATION – Any time prior to applying:

  • Earn a high school diploma, GED or be enrolled as a junior or senior in a high school career and technical program in early childhood education.
  • Complete 120 hours of formal early childhood education training, covering the growth and development of children ages 3 to 5 years, with no fewer than 10 training hours in each of the eight CDA® subject areas. ( TECE 1 & 2 , Quorum, or any Gold Standard CDA training program)

EXPERIENCE – Within 3 years of submitting your application:

  • Obtain 480 hours of professional work experience based on the CDA you are applying for; Infant toddler, Preschool or Family Childcare.

DOCUMENTATION – Within 6 months of submitting your application:

  • Prepare your CDA® professional portfolio. This is a collection of reference materials related to your work with children and families. You will find detailed preparation instructions in the CDA Competency Standards book.
  • Select a CDA Professional Development (PD) Specialist™ to conduct your CDA Verification Visit®, which is part of your final assessment. Your PD Specialist will review your professional portfolio, observe you working with the children, complete a reflective dialogue with you, and submit score recommendations to the Council.
  • Take the CDA exam
2. Is there an expiration on TECE 1 & 2 to count towards the CDA?

No, TECE 1 & 2 is able to count toward the education requirement (the 120 hours of formal early childhood training) regardless of when it was taken.

3. Can teachers still take TECE 1 & 2 instead of Quorum? Are TECE 1 & 2 being offered for free?

Yes, for the education requirement for the CDA, TECE 1 & 2 may be used for the 120 hours of formal early childhood training. Specific information on the cost of TECE 1 & 2  should be directed to the organization offering the TECE 1 & 2 training.

4. If taking Quorum, can the 120 hours be used as TECE 1 & 2, or only towards attaining the CDA?

Yes, completing the Quorum hours is equivalent to taking TECE 1 & 2.  https://education.delaware.gov/families/office_of_early_learning/tece/

5. Are the CDA supports on-line or in-person?

The supports that DIEEC is providing through CDA cohorts are offered both online and in-person.

6. Can teachers complete the CDA independently, or are they required to be part of a cohort?

Participation on a cohort is not required; early childhood educators may complete the CDA independently (https://www.cdacouncil.org/en/). Educators completing the CDA independently may still be eligible for a scholarship.

7. Can you explain the scholarships that are available? Does the scholarship include the 120 Quorum hours? Are scholarships available for teachers who are completing the portfolio on their own? Who should I contact to receive a scholarship?

Children & Families First is currently administering the scholarship program for early childhood professionals. Please view the Children & Families First Scholarship webpage for more information – https://www.cffde.org/cc-scholarships

8. Is it possible for center administrators to be CDA instructors?

CDA Instructors are not required for early childhood educators to complete the CDA. Center administrators are able to support their staff in completing the CDA without being designated as an instructor.

9. Will the EC professionals who are on the waiting list be prioritized for the next round of cohorts?

Yes, educators on the waiting list will receive priority in registering for the next round of DIEEC cohorts.

Technical Assistance

10. Are these supports optional, or will programs be required to have a quality improvement plan with DIEEC?

Engaging with your DIEEC TA is an optional experience. When you are ready for support, your DIEEC TA will work on your timeline and align with your schedule.

11. In this model, is it possible that we might have multiple TAs?

All programs will be assigned one DIEEC TA, who will support their program throughout the quality improvement cycle. Programs may, however, have experiences with other DIEEC staff, specifically as part of engaging in Professional Learning Experiences (PLEs). DIEEC staff facilitating the PLEs will work together to ensure clear communication and collaboration as part of supporting you to achieve your goals.

12. Can you explain the Community of Practice (CoP) opportunities?

A family child care Community of Practice (CoP) is an opportunity for Delaware family child care providers to join together to share their passion for providing home care and education to young children. Community of Practice members gather regularly to network with one another, share and problem solve around common ‘dilemmas’, and reflect and grow in their teaching and business practices.If you are interested in joining an FCC Community of Practice, please contact Kristy Smith at (302) 650-7827 or by email at kcsmith@udel.edu.

13. What about providers who are not comfortable with computers and technology? Will they need to close their businesses?

Absolutely not! DIEEC is here to support programs in working towards their goals, whether that includes using technology or not.

14. Staffing is a huge issue. Can TAs help a program work on staffing?

DIEEC TAs do have resources and can support programs with staff recruitment and retention, as well as with overall leadership development. One of the Professional Learning Experiences (PLEs) DIEEC is offering specifically targets recruitment and retention.

15. Are TAs able to help a family child care provider expand to become a center program?

DIEEC TAs are able to support family child care programs in identifying goals and a plan to work toward those goals. TAs have also developed relationships with a number of community organizations that work with and support the development of new businesses.

16. For family child care, how would working with a TA fit into scheduling, so that the provider can give time to the TA and still provide care for their children?

Family Child Care TAs are flexible in their availability to meet with you. We know that the most important thing is caring for the children while they are in your care. FCC TAs are available to meet with you during naptime and before or after your program day.

17. When are TAs able to visit?

Your Technical Assistant is ready to start visiting your program now! Please reach out to your TA via phone or email. If you aren’t sure how to contact your TA, please contact Kristy Smith (kcsmith@udel.edu) or Jen Potts (jpotts@udel.edu  and we can connect you.

Professional Learning Experiences

18. Will there by any new, free, online tranining offered for EC professionals who have completed the ones currently available?

DIEEC PD Coordinators are constantly developing new professional learning experiences. If there are particular topics that you are interested in learning more about, please reach out to us at ecinstitute@udel.edu.

19. Will there be any new online trainings to support school-age programs?

Check the DIEEC Training Calendar for regular self-paced offerings of “School Age: 6 Pillars of Character” and “School Age: Building Community with Partner Schools.” Other virtual options, for example “Mindfulness: A Resilience Practice,” meet the needs of Early Childhood Professionals, as well as School Age Professionals. Check out the class descriptions to see if the content might meet your needs!

20. Are the DIEEC Professional Learning Experiences only available to programs participating in Delaware Stars?

No. All DIEEC Professional Learning Experiences are available to anyone who is interested in participating.

21. We would like to complete the online trainings as a group so we can discuss. Is there a way we could use online trainings as a group, rather than having every person click through, answer the questions, and do the quizzes?

We are exploring different options for this type of learning experience.  If there are particular topics that you are interested in learning more about in this format, please reach out to us at ecinstitute@udel.edu.

22. Will there be professional learning experiences where teachers and program leaders can learn and grow together as a team?

One example we currently have available is a package of Professional Learning Experiences called “Stronger Together: Culturally Responsive Relationships among Families and Educators.” This on-site PLE is scheduling for fall 2022.  Email skrobot@udel.edu if you’re interested in learning more. If there are particular topics that you are interested in learning more about in this format, please reach out to us at ecinstitute@udel.edu.


23. Are the DIEEC supports availavle for Spanish-speaking providers?

Yes! One of our DIEEC TAs is a dual language speaker. Kim Cruz speaks English and Spanish. If you are a family child care provider who would prefer to work with a TA who speaks Spanish, please contact Kristy Smith (kcsmith@udel.edu).  We are also happy to share that a dual language Professional Development Coordinator is joining the DIEEC and will be able to offer Professional Learning Experiences in Spanish starting in Summer 2022.

24. Are the DIEEC supports availabe to all programs and professionals?

DIEEC technical assistance offers a variety of supports for all programs. If you are interested in working with a TA for program-level support, contact Jen Potts (Jpotts@udel.edu) for center-based programs and Kristy Smith (kcsmith@udel.edu) for home-based programs. Additionally, all DIEEC Professional Learning Experiences are available to all early childhood professionals – you can dieecpd.org for the current opportunities and to register.

25. Should we refer to family child care as home based child care?

Home-based care is a broad term to describe all caregivers who provide care to children in their home. Family child care provider is a more specific term used to describe someone who provides licensed family child care.

26. Is there still a process for Delaware’s early childhood credentials?

No, the Early Childhood Credentials are no longer required. If you have a question about a Credential that was previously approved, contact DIEEC at 302-831-3239. Questions on qualifications or DEEDS should be directed to the DEEDS Early Learning team for assistance, https://education.delaware.gov/families/office_of_early_learning/deeds-early-learning/