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Credentials & Degrees

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) offers several ways for early childhood and school-age professionals to obtain credentials and degrees. Professionals can find more information on the following:

  • Apply for the Child Development Associate (CDA).  The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. You may also be eligible for a CDA Voucher.
  • Apply for the Director Credential. The Pennsylvania Director Credential is designed as a standard to measure and validate the abilities and competencies of directors and administrators to manage high quality early childhood and school-age programs.
  • Learn more about Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship. The registered Early Childhood Education (ECE) Apprenticeship is designed as a Career Pathway option for early childhood educators to transition from a CDA to an associates degree (AA) or bachelors degree (BA) while working in an early child classroom.
  • Apply for the School-Age Credential. The Pennsylvania School-Age Professional Credential (SAPC) was developed to promote quality services for children and families by providing specific standards, professional development and evaluation of school-age practitioners.


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