What Are CDA Competency Goals and Functional Areas?

The Child Development Associate competency goals and functional areas are national standards by which caregivers are evaluated in their work with children and parents in the CDA assessment process. The goals are general statements of purpose, and function areas are detailed definitions of the competency goals.

The first of the six CDA competency goals is to establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment. This first goal is supported by the function area of a safe, healthy and learning environment.

The second competency goal is to advance physical and intellectual competence. The function areas supporting this goal are physical, cognitive, communicative and creative.

The third goal is to support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance. This goal's function areas are self, social and guidance.

The fourth goal, to establish positive and productive relationships with families, is supported by the function area of families. The fifth goal is to establish a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs. The function area supporting this competency goal is program management.

Finally, the sixth goal is to maintain a commitment to professionalism and is supported by the function area of professionalism. While the six goals are the same for all settings a caregiver works in, the function areas differ for each setting and age group.