This program is designed for individuals who desire entry-level positions in the area of child development. By enrolling in specialized courses designed for working with infants, toddlers and preschool-age children, students learn about the physical, emotional, social and cognitive care of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. They learn the job responsibilities of all staff working in the field and identify suitable career opportunities.
Weekly field observations and experiences are required throughout the course work in this program. Students must be eligible for clearances through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Criminal History Record (Act 114), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Check (Act 34) and the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Record Check (Act 151) and meet local requirements of the field placement site.
Upon completion of the diploma, students can work as an aide in childcare agencies or centers, preschool programs, before and after school programs or private homes. Students who complete the diploma program, find employment in a child development center and meet additional credential requirements are eligible to apply for the nationally awarded Child Development Associate (CDA) credential through the Council for Professional Recognition. Additional CDA credential requirements and application can be found at www.cdacouncil.org.
Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will:
- Integrate appropriate theories and practices, general and content knowledge and professional and pedagogical knowledge to create and implement developmentally appropriate experiences for children and their families.
- Employ appropriate discipline terminology and professional tone in written and oral communication in descriptive and applied observation and documentation strategies to positively influence children’s growth and development.
Students can apply the credits earned in this diploma program toward a certificate or Associate degree in Early Education and Child Development. Upon completion of this program, graduates may seek employment as a preschool teacher or as an early childhood educational aide and can work in child care agencies, day care, preschool programs, public and private schools, before and after school programs, or private homes.