Day Care Management Degree Program Information

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in child development, which will prepare graduates for supervisory child day care positions. Read about the programs and career salary.

Essential Information

Associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in child development feature coursework in early childhood education, child growth, developmental psychology, and infant and toddler care. Additionally, bachelor's and master's degree programs may include independent projects and field experiences.

Associate of Science in Early Childhood Management

The Associate of Science in Early Childhood Management program can be completed in two years of full-time study and prepares graduates for a variety of assistant positions with childcare centers. Coursework emphasizes the development and growth of children with a particular emphasis on child behavior and psychology. In addition to the core classes, general education courses in human development, psychology and composition are usually required. Common course topics may include:

  • Early childhood education
  • Child development
  • Child growth
  • Observing the behavior of children
  • Infant and toddler care
  • Curriculum development in early childhood education

Bachelor of Arts in Child Development

The Bachelor of Arts in Child Development program addresses the development and growth of children in more detail. Coursework will cover topics such as early childhood behavior, psychology and elementary education. Some bachelor's degree programs require a senior project that emphasizes practical experiences with children in a day care or university laboratory setting. Many universities have human development laboratories that allow students to interact with children in a safe and controlled environment. The courses in a bachelor's degree child development program cover core topics in child growth and development. Students also take electives in an area of interest. Typical subjects may include:

  • Theory of human growth and development
  • Cultural perspectives on the family
  • Special education
  • Culturally diverse students
  • Children's literature
  • Early childhood and infancy psychology

Master of Arts in Child Development

The Master of Arts in Child Development emphasizes practical fieldwork experiences with a thorough grounding in theoretical perspectives on child development. The degree program is research-based and focuses on the cultural, emotional, social and cognitive aspects of children's behavior. Fieldwork experiences vary and may include spending time with students at secondary schools and at preschools. Many universities encourage their M.A. students to be involved with school-sponsored community programs that focus on the well being of children. Degree length can vary for master's degree programs. Some programs can be completed in one year of full-time study, while others require two years. The coursework in the master's degree in child development program emphasizes the theory and psychological development of children. Course topics may include:

  • Moral development psychology
  • Development theories
  • Creative process theories
  • Child development pathways
  • Development and cultural psychology
  • Friendships of children

Popular Career Options

Career options for graduates of an associate's degree program in childhood management will be limited to assistant positions within a child day care center. Career options may include:

  • Assistant child day care manager
  • Assistant teacher
  • Home day care operator

The bachelor's degree program in child development prepares graduates for careers in supervisory positions with child day care centers and child advocate organizations. Some career options may include:

  • Head Start program coordinator
  • Director of youth services
  • Owner or director of a child day care facility
  • Community activity director

In addition to supervisory roles with child day care centers, the master's degree in child development qualifies graduates to work as researchers, educators and counselors. Some career choices may include:

  • Child day care center director
  • Elementary school counselor
  • Child psychotherapist
  • Family services director

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), childcare workers made median hourly wages of $9.77 in 2015. Employment opportunities in this field should be good, reports the BLS. The number of jobs for childcare workers were projected to increase at an average rate of 5% from 2014-2024.

Continuing Education Information

Students who have completed a degree program in childcare management or child development can work towards the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The credential is nationally recognized and ensures that childcare providers and supervisors are knowledgeable in areas of safety and nutrition, teaching methodologies and the use of appropriate discipline techniques for infants to 5-year olds.

Depending on what career students are looking for, undergraduate and graduate degree options can be earned in child development. Coursework in child development and curriculum development are some of many classes needed.

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