I live in Connecticut, and the CDA makes a difference here mainly with WHERE you can get a job. While daycares can be more lenient with their qualifications, publicly-funded early childhood programs (Head Start, for example) require a minimum of a CDA to even be considered for hire. An Associate's degree in ECE is increasingly being required for assistant teachers, and head teachers often need a Bachelor's degree. So basically, if you want to change jobs someday and work for a state program, a CDA might be necessary. In eastern CT they pay about $9-10 an hour to assistant teachers with a CDA or Associate's degree in public early childhood programs, and head teachers (Associate's or Bachelor's required) earn about $13 an hour. The minimum wage here is $7.65 an hour. These figures are for the public programs, however...private daycares may or may not place emphasis on increased education with their salaries.