The National Child Development Associate (CDA) is a credential for those in the early childhood, child care and education field. The IGNITE Pathways CDA program was designed to enhance the quality of child care by increasing and recognizing the competence of those who care for young children. A CDA may be earned at IGNITE for preschool and  infant/toddler.



The Child Development Associate (CDA) classes introduces students to hands-on learning. 

The IGNITE ECE Pathway is designed to provide comprehensive early childhood training and mentorship for individuals who work with children in a child care setting to meet the 120-hr training requirement  and 480 hour classroom instruction for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential.




Courses available in this path include:

  • Child Care Certifications
  • CDA Part 1
  • CDA Part 2
  • CDA Part 3
  • PEH 142 -First Aid (IWCC) Optional
  • Work Based Learning 



  • Essentials Child Care Preservice Certification
  • Mandatory Reporter for Child and Adult Abuse 
  • CPR/First Aid Card 
  • Passport Certification 
  • Iowa Early Learning Standards Certification 
  • Positive Behavioral Intervention Support 
  • National Child Development Associate Credential*
  • Additional Training provided by Head Start in Southwest Iowa**
  • Head Start Internship
  • Building Blocks Academy Internship


Early child care professionals play an essential role in preparing children for school. One of the most effective ways providers can prepare children for school is to engage parents and families in the learning process. This means working with and providing information to families on specific strategies for engaging in their children’s learning. It can also mean helping families gain access to the tools and resources that will allow them to be the best advocate for their children. ECE is essential for a strong economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities are due to increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031. Entry level positions start at $14/hour or higher. 


Entry Level Wages


Iowa Jobs Available


Income Potential

Meet Josie

Josie, an IGNITE senior, participated in the Early Childhood Program. She started on the Child Development Associate pathway and has successfully completed Child Care Certifications and CDA Part 1. Through these courses, she was able to finish all required Early Childhood pre-service training for the State of Iowa.

Josie is excited about attending Iowa Western in the Fall. She now understands the Early Childhood pathway and what quality child care looks like.

“I love coming to IGNITE and being able to work with children. I look forward to staying in Woodbine and taking college courses. My instructor was Dani and Amanda and I learned so much!"

Contact Us for More Information

First Name:
Last Name:
How Can We Help You:
Which Career Paths Are You Interested In:

Become a Partner

First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
Business Name:
City, ST:
How would you like to partner with us?: