An online child development certificate helps students develop the skills necessary for them to be effective working with young children. The certificate program is intended for those interested in either entering or advancing in the field of early childhood education or child care. These programs tend to take less than one year to complete. Some programs are fully online, but hybrid programs may require students to complete in-person sessions.
Admission requirements vary by program, but graduate certificates require a bachelor's degree to enroll.
Certificate in Child Development
The child development certificate program focuses on the factors that affect and shape children's growth. Skills acquired by students in this certificate program include the ability to recognize external elements that affect children as well as key stages in child development. The program is science intensive, focusing on physiological and psychological components. While admission requirements vary among institutions, it is commonly expected for applicants to have a bachelor's degree.
Information and Requirements
The average length of time to complete this certificate program is 3-6 months, depending on whether the student chooses to pursue it full-time. The program is usually offered completely online, though some institutions offer hybrid programs. Students access course information and pre-recorded video lectures from the school's online message board platform. The program is self-paced, meaning students can log into their institution's online message board and work at any time.
List of Child Development Courses
A large percentage of the coursework for the child development certificate program focuses on students' understanding of the foundation of child behavior. Some of the classes require detailed projects that test students' ability to apply their knowledge of child development to real life situations.
Early Childhood Education Administration
In this course, students become familiar with the operational aspects of early childhood education programs. Students analyze the managerial as well as the human relations components of administering educational programs for young children.
In this course, students examine the stages of children's development from an emotional, psychological and social perspective. Students also focus on child development theories.
Early Childhood Assessment
Instructors in this course help students gain detailed knowledge of the procedures and instruments used in assessing children's developmental growth in different environments. Students also learn about the research and evaluation methods used in early childhood assessment.
With a child development certificate, students become qualified for such occupations as family social workers and child care program administrators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for child, family, and school social workers was $42,350 as of May 2015.
The BLS also reported that from 2014-2024 employment of social workers is expected to increase by 12%, faster than the average for all occupations. As of May 2015, the median salary of preschool and child care program administrators was $45,670. Also, the BLS reported that employment of preschool and child care education administrators will increase by 7% between 2014-2024.
Online child development certificate programs are typically taken after the completion of a bachelor's degree, and take less than a year to complete. These programs can be taken to enter into, or advance careers in this field.