Child Development

webphoto2.jpgThe Child Development program is a theory-based, hands-on program that offers opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of children and families and the unique teaching and learning process that applies to the early years. Coursework focuses on the physical, cognitive, and social and emotional growth and development of children under the age of 12 and the unique care and education needs of children ages 0-5.

The program offers options for professional development, professional certification and transfer to four-year institutions. All options are designed to educate and prepare students to work with culturally diverse groups of children in schools, centers, and homes. Courses are offered during the day, in the evening, on weekends and online.


Check back for the latest Child Development Program news.

Why Choose Saddleback

The Saddleback Child Development program prepares students with theory-based, hands-on early childhood teacher education enabling them to begin or expand their developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate care and teaching practices in settings designed for young children.

All Saddleback child development courses are offered on campus as well as online and there are morning, afternoon, evening and weekend courses.

webphoto5.jpgStudents have many opportunities to apply their learning in our nationally accredited early childhood lab school as well as in the classrooms of our local California mentor teachers.

The foundational skills and abilities provide a solid base upon which specialized and advanced studies can be built. Successful completion of our child development courses enables students to qualify for a state of California Child Development Permit and along with CSU or IGETC pattern general education courses prepares students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs.

As result of coordination with many state agencies, our program is designed to streamline the process for students pursuing child development certificates, degrees, transfers and state certifications.

Our core courses are aligned with the California Community College Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project. The common course names and content in the "Lower Division 8" utilized by early childhood faculty across the state facilitate transfer for students to and between other two and four year colleges.

Getting Started

There are many paths to becoming an Early Childhood Teacher. The following courses are the core of all our certificates and it is recommended to take the four bolded type courses listed first.  To decide on a specific focus, explore the certificate and degree options and then contact one of our full time faculty to make your career plan.  Qualifications differ depending on the type of program you want to work in.

  • CD 107 - Child Growth and Development
  • CD 15 - Child, Family and Community
  • CD 101 - Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
  • CD 110 - Introduction to Early Childhood Curriculum
  • CD 111 -Child Guidance and Communication
  • CD 112 - Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • CD 117 -Teaching Children in a Diverse Society
  • CD 120 - Observation and Assessment
  • CD 121 - Practicum: The Student Teaching Experience (Last course)


Child Development Online Learning

Saddleback Child Development Department is proud to be one of very few community colleges to offer a complete online child development program.

Our online courses are designed to allow students to make the most of their time without sacrificing quality education.

All Child Development courses are offered in an online format within every two year period. Students may choose to use all online, all on campus, or a mixture of each to complete their certificate requirements.

Applying what is learned to real life settings is an integral part of our program and our online child development courses do involve child observations in a variety of activities so online students must be prepared to find early childhood settings near them to visit regularly during the duration of their courses.

How Online Classes Work

Instead of attending lectures on campus, online students attend "virtual" classrooms via the Internet.

Saddleback Child Development instructors use the Blackboard course development system that allows the instructor to post assignments, syllabi, and course outlines. In addition, the applications allow the use of several communication tools such as discussion boards, chat rooms and email.

Some instructors require face-to-face meetings (most often a first day orientation or final exam), but many courses are completely online. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for any special requirements.

Learning materials vary from class to class, but may include textbooks, video demonstrations, Power Point presentations, interactive lessons, and Web resources.

Learning activities may include writing papers, posting comments or essays to online discussion forums, completing individual or group projects, visiting children's settings for observations or participation and taking quizzes.

While students can choose when and where they work, there are usually deadlines for homework and exams.

Students interact with their instructor and classmates via web discussion forums, e-mail, chat sessions, and phone calls.

How to get started:

While each instructor sets up their classes a little differently, for the most part our online classes have many things in common.

Students apply and register for online courses in the same way they do for on campus courses.

All courses use the Blackboard course delivery system.

For more information about individual courses, contact the current instructor of the course.
Check the current schedule.


Looking for work?

View jobs that are posted on the Gaucho Job Board that request coursework in Child Development. The site will be updated as more jobs are posted so continue to check back.


Gainful Employment Disclosure Statements

Federal regulations require higher education institutions to disclose information regarding the success of its students in certificate programs that lead to employment.

The information includes graduation rates, estimated education costs, median debt of students who completed programs, and other information designed to help students make better-informed choices about colleges and universities they select.

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