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Child Development - Associate in Applied Arts

child development class

Do you enjoy working with children? Are you interested in teaching infants, toddlers or preschool? Child Development might be the program for you!

Child development teachers provide cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth and development for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. They focus on whole child development and helping children for later academic and social success. Instructional techniques incorporate playing, problem solving, questioning, and experimenting.

Child development teachers typically do the following:

  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that targets language, motor, and social skills
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world and explore interests
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring to the attention of parents
  • Keep records of the students’ progress, routines, and interests, and keep parents informed about their child’s development

About the Program

The Delta College Child Development program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). As a result, the curriculum for the Associate’s Degree is aligned with the standards issued by the NAEYC and involves rigorous assessment and program/peer evaluations.

Delta College’s Child Development program’s foundation includes courses in infant/toddler development, psychology, teaching practicum, childcare program management, and first aid. Your education will include gaining the respect, confidence, and cooperation of children, maintaining discipline, and responding to emergency situations. You will spend 300 hours (over several different courses) working with children in a variety of settings with children ranging in age from birth to eight years.

Paraprofessional Certificate
The Educational Paraprofessional Certificate of Achievement is designed to assist students in obtaining the skills necessary to work as paraprofessionals in pre-K and early elementary classrooms. This certificate stresses the importance of understanding child and family diversity, special needs populations, and developmentally appropriate discipline. By completing the certificate, a student can supplement the Advanced Certificate or Associate in Applied Arts degree or use it to directly gain employment.

Advanced Certificate
The Child Development Advanced Certificate prepares you for a position as an assistant teacher or teacher in early childhood education and care programs. Students learn to plan and implement high quality, developmentally appropriate programs for all ages of children, infants through school-age, in both centers and family child care homes.

Associate Degree
The Associate in Applied Arts degree program will focuses on leadership skills that are needed in a director position. Graduates of this degree program will also be qualified to apply for positions as lead teachers and center directors as well as apply for a license for their own child care business.

Careers and Job Outlook

Employment opportunities are available in public and private childcare centers, schools, and state or federal programs such as Head Start. Some child development teachers work the traditional 10-month school year, but most work year round.

An employment growth of 17 percent is projected from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education and the growing population of children ages three to five.

State of Michigan yearly earnings: $26,860

Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2011 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System

National average earnings: $27,130 (preschool teacher)

Source: 2012 Occupational Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at

What are students saying?

"I chose Delta because of the affordable tuition coupled with the quality Childhood Development program. Their course offerings are meaningful and apply directly to the real world of early childhood education."

"After owning and operating a licensed family daycare for 11 years, I began work as a teacher’s aide. After working for a few years, my administrators saw my passion for these children and they encouraged me to further my education at Delta so that I could become a lead teacher."

"I received an offer to become a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher immediately upon obtaining my degree at Delta. I felt very prepared. Now, I welcome Delta early childhood students to complete their practice hours in my classroom!"

Find Out More

Have questions or want more information? Contact:

Jill Harrison
Program Coordinator/Associate Professor

Child Development - Associate in Applied Arts

Program Code: AAA.25762

Child development teachers work in a variety of settings providing care and guidance of young children. This includes concern for the mental, social, physical, and emotional growth and development of the child. As a child development teacher, you should be able to work under supervision and work cooperatively with other personnel. Each employee should gain the respect, confidence, and cooperation of children, maintain discipline, and enforce as well as deal with emergency situations calmly. Physically, you must maintain good health and be able to stoop, kneel, crouch, and crawl. Good vision and hearing are necessary as well as being able to lift up to 40 pounds. Applicants for child development positions are to be free of communicable diseases including a negative TB test. A DHS clearance for child abuse/neglect is required, as is a criminal background check.

Students learn supportive skills needed for positions as assistant teachers or teachers in early childhood education and care programs. The Associate in Applied Arts degree program will also stress leadership skills that are needed in a director position. Graduates of this degree program will also be qualified to apply for positions as lead teachers and center directors as well as apply for a license for their own child care business.

The curriculum for this program is aligned with the standards issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

General Education Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition I Course ______________
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition II Course ______________
LW ---1Any 1 Credit LW Course AND ______________
LWA ---1Any 1 Credit LWA Course ______________
OR ______________
LW ---(2)Any 2 Credit LW Course ______________
POL ---3/4Any Approved American Government Requirement ______________
--- ---8Humanities Electives ______________
--- ---8Natural Science Electives including one lab course ______________

Core Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
CD 110W4Infant/Toddler Development ______________
CD 111W3Introduction to Early Childhood Education ______________
CD 112W3Learning Center Activities ______________
CD 113W4Child Guidance Strategies ______________
CD 115W3Introductory Preschool Practicum ______________
CD 116W3Diversity and Families in Early Childhood Education ______________
CD 117W6Student Teaching Practicum ______________
CD 210W3Child Care Program Management ______________
ED 201W3Education of the Exceptional Child ______________
LWT 1651HeartSaver First Aid with CPR ______________
PSY 211W4General Psychology ______________
PSY 223W3Child Psychology ______________

67/68Total Credits Required


1 - Humanities Electives are required in two different subject areas. Suggested Humanities Electives: COM 114, Interpersonal Communications and one chosen from ENG 250, or ENG 253.
2 - CD 111W and CD 115PW may be articulated if the student has earned a CDA credential (Center-based Preschool and Family Child Care CDAs), an elementary education degree or a high school career-technical certificate. CD 110W and CD 111W may be articulated if the student has earned a Center-based Infant Toddler CDA credential. Articulated credits will not count towards DHS requirements for a director using a CDA certificate. The 18 required credits for a child care director must be regular classes with a grade for credit.
3 - A Child Development information session is held in December, April and August. CD 110W, CD 113W, CD 115PW, and CD 117W students must attend one of these sessions. Be sure you notify the Counseling Office to state your major as CD.
4 - All CD 110W, 113W, 115PW, and 117W students must complete the following and submit the appropriate documentation to the program coordinator: 1) TB Skin Test. You must submit evidence of freedom from communicable tuberculosi; 2) Criminal background check; 3) DHS Child Abuse/Neglect clearance check; 4) Employment and volunteer contract (practicum agreement).
5 - CD 210W, Child Development Program Management must be taken after all other Child Development courses have been completed.
6 - Current First Aid and CPR certification (LWT 165) is required to enroll in CD 210W.
7 - Natural Science electives credit in two different areas would be particularly useful for transferring to a 4-year school and is required in the fulfillment of the MACRAO agreement and starting in 2015 the MTA. If you are planning on transferring you may also wish to take a Math course (MTH 118 or higher, excluding MTH 119 and MTH 153). For questions or more information, please see the Counseling and Advising office. Check with your transfer institution for optimum choices.
8 - CD 110W, CD 111W, CD 113W, CD 115 PW are Key courses and must be completed within 5 year of completing degree. Failure to complete within the stated time frame will require you to repeat this course. See graduation requirements page in catalog.
9 - A grade of "C" (2.0) or higher is required in all core courses.
10 - CD 110W and CD 113W each require 30 hours of volunteer work at a licensed childcare program. CD 115PW requires 90 hours and CD 117W requires 150 hours of teaching in a licensed program other than your current employment site. CD 115PW and CD 117W must be unpaid and outside of your work schedule. More information will be given at the information sessions.

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