Welcome to the CDA! The Children's Development Academy (CDA) is a non-profit preschool providing high-quality learning programs to children whose families otherwise couldn't afford it. The brain development that happens in the first five years of a child's life impacts their success in school and life. The CDA's vision is Best Start. Brightest Future. Every Child.

Who We Serve

Children each year, ages 1 through Pre-K from the Northern Arc of Greater Atlanta.

Accredited by the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for meeting the 10 standards of high-quality early education—Only 4% of childcare centers in Georgia receive this accreditation.

Three Star Quality Rating from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning—the Best possible rating given to only 10% of the eligible child care providers in Georgia.

Each Year...

CDA kids read
books at home, and
books are placed in children's homes.

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Volunteers are critical for the success of our program. Help support the Children’s Development Academy.



Help CDA make a difference!


Down Home on the Derby May 3, 2025

The annual Down Home Derby fundraiser each May raises proceeds to support the CDA’s mission of affording all children in our community high-quality early education.

Party on Our Playground

Party on the Playground October 5, 2024

The grownups take over the playground for the CDA’s annual fall fundraiser, Party on our Playground.

Children's Development Academy

Thank Yous and Brews Summer 2025

All donors and volunteers are invited to celebrate the impact of their gifts on the next generation. Watch for your invitation.


When we were young...

Sherri Harris

I grew up in a small town in Ohio where there wasn’t a preschool. However, having older brothers and sisters, and a stay-at-home Mom, I was fully “home-schooled” in education and life! The spring before I started kindergarten, my Mom took me to the school to be tested to see if I, as a September baby, would be ready to start school just before my 5th birthday. I was a very shy child and wouldn’t really answer the questions they were asking me, to see if I was ready for kindergarten. My Mom was disappointed because I couldn’t prove I knew my numbers and colors. On the way out of the office, there was an Easter basket with colored eggs. I admired the basket. The school staff asked me to point to my favorite color and tell her what color that was. I did. She then quizzed me entirely over that basket of eggs! “How many blue ones are there? Point to the yellow one.” And from that, they allowed me to start kindergarten! Since then, I have always loved school and learning. As I now know, education is vital to the development of your brain in so many ways. We are blessed to have the CDA in our community to foster the little brains who come into our educational haven and continue on in our community schools.

Sherri Harris

Chair of the CDA Board of Directors

My mom died when I was 11 months old and my dad remarried when I was three and I was then adopted by the only mom I can remember but still there was a lot of change and loss in my early childhood years. There was so much change and trauma that when they took me to enroll in preschool, they told my parents that I was not ready for the separation involved in attending preschool. My mom, like the founders of the CDA, was worried that I wouldn't be ready for kindergarten without preschool so she set out to make sure that I would be ready the following year . She taught me my alphabet, my numbers, colors, how to tell time and even to read. It wasn't until I started working at the CDA in 2016 that I realized what my mom had done for me, setting a foundation for the rest of my life. That's what we do for the children and families that we serve at the CDA by giving them their best start in life.

Maggie DeCan

CDA CEO & Executive Director

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