Professional Development


Professional Development Training

Southeast Children’s Fund's Professional Development Institute (PDI) offers Child Development Associate (CDA) course for early care and education practitioners and individuals interested in the field so that they are able to apply to the Council for Professional Recognition.


SCF’s PDI is certified by the DC Education Licensure Commission and the DC Early Care and Education Administration. PDI is the only non-degree training provider able to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in the District.


In addition, we offer current and prospective owners of Child Development Homes and Centers technical assistance in all aspects of the early child care and education business including licensing to professional development. Owners of Child Development Homes or Centers who are interested in receiving Technical Assistance should contact the Director of Education and Training at (202) 561-5736.  

History of the Organization

History of the Organization


Southeast Children’s Fund/Professional Development Institute (SCF/PDI) was established in 1994 by its parent company Southeast Children’s Fund with a grant from the Office of Early Childhood Education (then, Office of Early Childhood Development). Since its inception, the Southeast Children’s Fund Professional Development Institute has trained over 1,000 childcare practitioners for the CDA Credential and has demonstrated a high degree of success in the number of graduates who achieved certification. Owing to the support services available, the number of students dropping out is extremely low. According to findings from a study conducted by UDC/CARUP for the Early Care and Education Administration, 165 first-time and renewal CDAs were awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition between January 2004 and May 2006 to candidates who attended SCF’s training program. During that same period, only 13 of the 473 students dropped out.


In 2007 SCF was once again awarded a grant from OECE to be one of its CDA training partners. SCF/PDI also became a certified training provider for the Department of Employment Services in 2008. In 2008, SCF/PDI added a new course: The Child Development Associate Professional Preparation Program. This six-month intensive training course is specifically designed for eligible individuals who are interested in entering the childcare field but have little or no experience working in childcare.

Board of Directors

Frances J. Rollins, Executive Director

Saliha Abd Al-Malik, Chairman

Olivia Henderson, Secretary

Kweku Toure, Legal Advisor

Tanetta Merritt, Board Member

John Settles, Board Member

Sophie Ford, Board Member

Administrative/ Instructional Staff

Frances J. Rollins, Chief Operating Officer Michelle Brown, Program Manager

Lorraine Crews, Program Assistant

Robinette Breedlove-Lewis, Instructor/Advisor

LaShawn Tracy, MSA, Instructor/Advisor

Vanessa Taja-on, Instructor/Advisor

Denise Rogers, Advisor

Mission/ Philosophy

The Institute’s mission is to improve the quality of childcare in the District by offering affordable training programs that advance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the child care workforce


SCF/PDI provides each person devoted to the delivery of child care the opportunity for success by equipping them with the skills required to gain employment; improving their knowledge and understanding of child development and early care and education; providing specialized training; and increasing job opportunities and experiences as child care professionals. SCF/PDI training courses are available to all skill levels – from entry to master’s level – and can be obtained on campus at our Southeast Children’s Fund location or arranged at job sites across the Metropolitan Washington, DC area.


SCF/PDI is a certified non-degree postsecondary institution and is the only non-college Child Development Associate training provider in the District that can award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to its students. This means that students’ training hours can be applied toward a college degree in early childhood education at the discretion of the institutions in which they enroll and can also satisfy any in-service training requirements. SCF is approved to operate by the Higher Education Licensure Commission.

Program Offerings


Child Development Associate Direct Assessment:

  • 120 Instructional Hours

  • 480 Practicum Experience

Credentialing Endorsements:

  • Infant & Toddler

  • Preschool

  • Family

Child Development Renewal Course:

  • 45.0 Instructional Hours

  • 80 Practicum Experience

Credentialing Renewal Endorsements:

  • Infant & Toddler

  • Preschool

  • Family

CDA Course Offerings 


4224 6th Street SE Washington, DC 20032


Office Hours

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

4224 6th Street SE Washington, DC 20032


Office Hours

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

(Schedule is subject to change based on the number of enrolled students.)

The CDA Direct Assessment program is offered four-six times a year, (depending on funding) in the fall, winter, spring, and summer.

CDA Direct Assessment/Renewal (Home Language English)

Classes meet two times a week for three (3.0 hours) -- on either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesday & Thursday from 6:00

p.m. to 9:00 p.m. & 2 Saturday per month.

CDA Direct Assessment/Renewal (Home Language English)

Classes meet 1X per week for three (6.0 hours) -- on either Friday(s) 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and 1 Saturday per month.

Dates are subject to change based on the number of registrants.

Cohort I:     CDA Direct Assessment

Cohort II:    CDA Direct Assessment

Cohort III: CDA Direct Assessment 

Cohort IV: CDA Direct Assessment

Cohort V:    CDA Direct Assessment

Cohort SPANISH: CDA Direct Assessment

November 17, 2020 – April 15, 2021

December 1, 2020 - May 6, 2021

January 12, 2021 - June 17, 2021

May 4, 2021 - September 28, 2021

June 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021


Technical Assistance

Southeast Children’s Fund Professional Development Institute also provides technical assistance to Child Development Home and Center owners and prospective owners. Clients can receive guidance in all aspects of the child development business, from licensing laws to the curriculum to learning environment issues to staff development. Seminars, workshops, and one-to-one consultations are the venues used to deliver technical assistance. Childcare facilities and organizations can also arrange for on-the-job CDA training for their staff.

Contact Lorraine Crews at (202) 561-1100 option 1, or email her at for more information.