Child Development Associate Program

Funded Through the Office of Child Development & Early Learning

A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed all CDA requirements and documentation of competence, including an assessment, and has been awarded the CDA credential. The CDA credential is a nationally-recognized entry-level-credential available to individuals who are currently working with young children. This credential demonstrates an individual’s ability to provide quality programming for young children. Area colleges will offer college credits once the credential is in hand and you have successfully completed their application process for an Early Childhood Degree.

Please call below to learn more information about upcoming classes!

Call Vie Artwell (215) 963-3786 OR Lola M. Rooney (215) 963-3791


For more information about the CDA Credential, contact:

The Council for Professional Recognition

2460 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20003-3575


Family Child Care Network

The YMCA Family Child Care Network was established in 1991 with the goal of providing affordable, accessible and quality child care for low-income families in Philadelphia. The goal supports the MISSION of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.

Since its establishment, the Family Child Care Network has trained and provided technical assistance to over 1,000 Family Day Care Providers in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.

What are our Initiatives?

The YMCA Family Child Care Network, currently facilitates three initiatives. The Accreditation Initiative – sponsored through Pew Charitable Trusts – supports family child care practitioners in meeting the prerequisites under the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC), the accreditation arm for NAEYC. The Infant-Toddler Initiative – sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation – supports new and existing family child care practitioners that care for our most vulnerable population, Infants and Toddlers. The Quality Improvement Initiative – sponsored by the William Penn Foundation – continues a focus on Infants and Toddlers, supporting continuous quality in Family Child Care homes.

These initiatives seek to promote the healthy development of children from low-income families. This is accomplished by increasing the quantity and quality of affordable, accessible children care slots with a particular emphasis on creating quality care environments that are nurturing, safe, supportive and developmentally appropriate in terms of school readiness.

Positive Features of Family Child Care

  • Child receives individual attention.
  • Atmosphere is more like a “family”
  • Child has one consistent caregiver.
  • Siblings may be able to attend the same home; infant to school-age care.
  • Flexible hours that suit part-time and non-traditional hours of care.
  • Overhead costs are less than Child Care Centers.

Who is Eligible?

Under the current guidelines, any resident of Philadelphia or Delaware County who has the desire and commitment to follow through with the stipulations of the YMCA Family Child Care Network.

You MUST reside at the home and must be in the process of becoming a licensed Family Child Care Provider. If you rent, you must obtain written permission from your landlord before you can proceed to open your business.

Participants must be willing to obtain ALL required licenses and permits from the City and State in order to legally operate their business. If you are currently licensed, you must be willing to improve the quality of your child care learning environment.

All programs participants must undergo a health exam and pass a drug screening at a physician of their choice. In addition, participants MUST pass a home pre-assessment. You must also possess a high school diploma or GED.

Participants must:

  • be willing to work with the YMCA for a period of 2 years;
  • complete “CDA” preparatory training for Family Child Care, Infants and Toddlers or Preschool;
  • complete Accreditation Training requirements and work collaboratively when referred to Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) to complete accreditation.

For more information please contact:

Vie Artwell (215) 963-3786 OR Lola M. Rooney (215) 963-3791

Forms & Additional Information

Family Child Care Network Application

Family Child Care Network Brochure