We create
positive change

Child Development Associates

Child Development Associates, Inc. (CDA) is a community based, non-profit agency with over 270 employees dedicated to creating positive change in our local community. We believe that all families deserve equal access to supportive services that will promote children’s healthy development and future success.

To encourage and support the success and well-being of children, families, and the child care community.

Alternative Payment Program

Child care reimbursement for parents who can’t afford child care on their own. We help children learn while parents earn.

Nutrition Program

Nutrition education and reimbursements to ensure family child care providers serve nutritious meals to the children in their care.

Our Aim is to Create
Positive Change

Raising a family in the state of California is expensive. Low-income families struggle to make ends meet and are unable to afford the necessary child care services. CDA has made it its mission to provide families with the resources necessary to reach self-sufficiency and succeed in life.

“I want to help make the world a better place.”

Charlene Tressler, CDA Founder

Founded By a Single Mom, Who Wanted to Make a Difference

CDA was founded by Charlene Tressler in 1974, who through her personal struggles as a single parent, became committed to helping families. Charlene opened a small child development center at a local church in Otay Mesa, consisting of 24 children aged two to five huddled together in one classroom. Her vision of a small community preschool has evolved into what is now a multi-service nonprofit agency with over 240 employees serving more than 22,000 children across its programs. CDA is now the fourth largest Alternative Payment Program in the State of California and the largest sponsor of the Federal USDA Child Care Food Program in California.

Our Impact


Child care providers

Nutritious meals

Impact Numbers from September 2022

Learn more about how CDA supported essential workers, families, and child care providers in our Annual Report and COVID-19 Program Status.

Annual Report

COVID-19 Program Status

Our Leaders

Norma Hernandez

Vice President, Operations, Human Resources, and Organizational Development

Jorge Hernandez

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Jolie Buberl

Vice President, Family and Provider Programs

Join Our Team!

The people here at CDA create a career of creating positive change. We’re proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that values our diverse workforce. Join CDA, and help us leave the world better than we found it. Learn more about CDA life here:


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