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Early Childhood Education Career Training Program

Human Service Programs

The Early Childhood Education Career Training Program provides training and job experience to people interested in becoming early childhood educators. This free program helps participants earn the nationally recognized Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential and start a career as an early childhood educator. The program runs from mid-fall to spring each year.

The program includes:

  • An online early childhood course offered through Teachstone (120 hours)
  • Weekly class to support online coursework
  • Paid internship at a licensed early childhood program in Cambridge (480 hours)
  • Coaching to complete CDA Professional Portfolio and apply for the CDA credential
  • On-site observations, feedback sessions, and academic advising from CDA coach
  • Help with career planning

The next Early Childhood Education Career Training Program will start in October 2023. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2023-24 cycle. Applications submitted by the deadline of June 30, 2023 are being reviewed and interviews with eligible applicatns will be scheduled in July and August 2023. 

In order to be eligible to participate in the program, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or HiSET/GED
  • Read and write in English at 10th grade level
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Provide a recent physical exam, including proof of MMR vaccination
  • Pass a criminal background and fingerprint check
  • Provide three references

Questions? Contact Sarah Figge Hussain at sfiggehussain@cambridgema.gov or 617-798-0250.

If you are currently working for an early education program and want to earn your CDA credential, contact Emily Callejas at ecallejas@cpsd.us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential?

It is a professional development opportunity for early educators working with children from birth to 5 years old and their families. To earn the Credential you must demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities in the early childhood education field. The CDA credential is the only national credential in the early childhood education (ECE) field.

The Council for Professional Recognition awards the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential.

How does earning a CDA credential benefit me?

The CDA credential is a stepping stone to a career as an early childhood educator. Earning a CDA credential:

  • Opens up opportunities for career growth and advancement, including higher pay.
  • Allows you to work anywhere in the U.S. (CDA credential is nationally recognized).
  • Makes you Early Education & Care (EEC) infant/toddler or preschool Teacher Certified in Massachusetts.

Learn more about the credential at Educator Pathways - CDA Council.

How much does the Early Childhood Education Career Training Program cost?

The program is free. All fees and materials required to participate in the program are provided, including:

  • Enrollment in online course and the course materials
  • Paid internship
  • Pediatric First Aid and CPR/AED training
  • Access to a Chromebook and internet hotspot
  • CDA application fee

I am currently working as an early childhood educator. Can this program help me earn a CDA credential?

Yes, people who are currently working at a licensed or license-exempt early care and education program can apply for a scholarship from the Cambridge Office of Early Childhood.

Contact Emily Callejas at ecallejas@cpsd.us for more information.

Page was posted on 7/21/2022 4:45 PM
Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 8:07 PM
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