The child development program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to work effectively with young children and their families. Students learn how to design and manage childcare settings which meet the developmental needs, interests, and abilities of young children while providing a safe and healthy environment. Students will develop a broad base of child development knowledge, which will prepare them to plan developmentally appropriate experiences for children from birth through early childhood.
Students gain a historical perspective of childcare and understanding of the theoretical foundations of early childhood growth and development which fosters an appreciation for the importance of quality care for young children. Specific coursework introduces students to the health and safety concerns of working with young children, appropriate methods and materials for use at various ages, the value and challenges of working with diverse families, the unique issues facing children with special needs, and issues associated with the administration of a childcare center or program.
Several child development courses also include observations in childcare settings where students are able to see first-hand, issues being discussed in class. Students working towards the Associate in Applied Science degree also complete a supervised practical internship in a child care facility which provides them an opportunity for practical application of skills learned during their program of study.
Students may enter the program with no childcare experience or work toward a degree or certificate while working with young children. Child development courses do not have to be taken in any specific order with the exception of CHD 215. Advisor approval is required for CHD 215. All courses are offered both during the day and evening and students may enroll in any courses once the prerequisites have been met. Students must be eligible for English Composition I (ENG 101).
Students in the child development field may qualify for financial aid through the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Alabama Scholarship Program or the Leadership in Childcare Scholarship Program, in addition to general financial aid. For more information about these and other financial aid opportunities, contact the financial aid office.
Success guides for the Child Development programs below can be found here.
Child Development Associate