Child Development

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The Bakersfield College Child Development Program offers students the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of child growth and development. Through hands-on experiences, students will learn about child development theories, developmental stages, and how to support children's growth and learning. In addition, students gain practical skills in creating a safe and nurturing environment for children, planning, and implementing developmentally appropriate activities, and observing and assessing children's progress.

toddler playing with drumWhat is Child Development?

Child development refers to the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes that occur in children from birth to adolescence. Child development encompasses a wide range of areas, including:

  • Physical development: This refers to changes in children's bodies, including growth in height and weight, fine and gross motor skills, and sensory abilities.
  • Cognitive development: This refers to the development of children's thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. It encompasses changes in memory, attention, language, and intelligence.
  • Emotional and social development: This refers to the development of children's emotions, relationships, and social skills. It encompasses changes in self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to form and maintain relationships.

Child development is influenced by a combination of biological and environmental factors. For example, genetics can influence a child's physical growth, while early childhood experiences can have a lasting impact on cognitive and emotional development.

The study of child development is interdisciplinary and draws on theories and research from fields such as psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and education. Understanding child development is important for parents, teachers, and other caregivers, as it can inform decisions about how to support children's growth and development during critical periods of growth and learning.

Is Child Development right for Me?

The study of child development can be rewarding for individuals with a variety of interests and skill sets. Here are some traits and skills that may indicate that you would be good at studying child development:

  • A strong interest in children and their well-being
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Good observation skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical skills
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills

These are just a few traits and skills that can indicate whether someone might be good at studying child development. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to try it for yourself! Students have the chance to work with children of different ages and abilities. This program also includes a strong focus on family and community involvement, giving students the chance to understand the role of families and the community in supporting children's development. With the combination of theory and practical experiences, students will develop a well-rounded understanding of child development and leave the program prepared to work in a variety of early childhood settings, including preschools, daycare centers, and after-school programs.

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Child Development Careers

An associate degree or a certificate in Child Development can prepare individuals for a variety of careers that involve working with children and families. Here are a few common careers for individuals with an AA or certificate in Child Development:

  • Childcare Worker: Childcare workers provide care for young children in settings such as daycare centers, preschools, or family childcare homes. They are responsible for creating a safe and nurturing environment for children, and for planning and implementing activities to promote their development.
  • Preschool Teacher: Preschool teachers work with children ages 3 to 5, helping them to develop skills such as language, social skills, and early literacy. They typically plan and implement activities that are both fun and educational.
  • Family Support Worker: Family support workers assist families in navigating social and educational systems, and provide support and resources to help families meet their needs. They may work in community-based organizations, schools, or government agencies.
  • Child Development Specialist: Child development specialists work with children who have special needs or disabilities, helping to support their growth and development. They may work in schools, community-based organizations, or healthcare settings.
  • Child Life Specialist: Child life specialists work in hospitals or healthcare settings, helping children and their families to cope with the stress and uncertainty of medical procedures and treatments. They provide support, resources, and age-appropriate activities to help children feel more comfortable and empowered.

These are just a few examples of careers that an associate degree or certificate in Child Development can lead to. With additional education and experience, individuals with an associate degree or certificate in Child Development may also be able to pursue careers as school counselors, social workers, or educational administrators.

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Beyond BC

Transfer to a University

Graduates with an Associate Degree from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Education

Career & Learning Pathway: Education Pathway

Courses: Child Development (CHDV)

Child Development Faculty and Staff

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