Child Development

Wallace and Sparks Campuses

The Child Development program prepares students for employment in the field of Early Care and Education of children. The program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to work effectively with young children and families. Graduates may be employed as administrators in private preschool programs; as teachers in state pre-kindergarten programs, preschool programs, Head Start, and Early Head Start programs; or as teaching assistants in public school systems.

Students can pursue an Associate in Applied Science degree, Certificate, or a Pre-K Endorsement short certificate. The program is designed to allow students to develop a broad base of competencies that will prepare them to guide experiences of children from birth through early childhood. The short certificate is designed to prepare students to enter the field of Early Care and Education and to be an intermediate step for those working toward the program certificate or degree.

Admission is conditional and depends on the student’s ability to perform the essential functions identified for this program. Reasonable accommodations are considered.

Child Development Field Experience Requirements

As a Child Development student, you will be expected to complete field experience observation and participation in childcare programs throughout your CHD courses. According to the Child Care Licensing and Performance Standards for Day Care and Nighttime Centers Regulations and Procedures from the Alabama Department of Human Resources, staff including substitutes and volunteers must meet the following minimum qualifications for records (page 42-43).

Required records include: 

  • DHR staff application (DH-CDC-1947)
  • Three references (DHR-CDC-1948)
  • Request for Clearance of State Central Registry on Child Abuse/Neglect (DHR-DFC-1598)
  •  Criminal History Background Check including Alabama Bureau of Investigations Fingerprint Clearance (Code of Alabama 1975, Title 38, Chapter 13, effective November 1, 2000)
  • Medical examination including TB Test (DHR-CDC-737)
  • CPR certification

Note: Wallace Community College has articulation agreements with Troy University's College of Education, the University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Sciences and Athens State University’s College of Education. Through these agreements, Wallace Community College Child Development graduates may maximize transfer of course credits and complete most of their four-year degree requirements through distance education opportunities.

Note: Basic Cardiopulmonary Life Support (BCLS) certification is required prior to participating in laboratory experiences at childcare centers. Students can take the course through the college by registering for EMS 100 concurrently with the initial registration in Child Development (CHD) courses.

Degrees and Certificates

Course Descriptions

CHD 100: Introduction to Early Care and Education of Children

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course introduces students to the child education and care profession. It is designed to increase understanding of the basic concepts of child development and the developmental characteristics of children from birth through age 8-9 years. This course is the foundation for planning appropriate activities for children and establishing appropriate expectations of young children. This class also offers an opportunity to study the developmental domains (social, emotional, cognitive/language, and physical). Course includes observations of the young child in early childhood settings.

CHD 201: Child Growth and Development Principles

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course is a systematic study of child growth and development from conception through early childhood. Emphasis is on principles underlying physical, mental, emotional and social development, and methods of child study and practical implications. Upon completion, students will be able to use knowledge of how young children differ in development and approaches to learning to provide opportunities that supports physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive, and aesthetic development. This is a CORE course. PSY 210 or PSY 211 may be used as a suitable substitute for this course for AAT and AAS degree programs at the discretion of the college.

CHD 202: Children’s Creative Experiences

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course focuses on fostering creativity in preschool children and developing a creative attitude in teachers. Topics include selecting and developing creative experiences in language arts, music, art, science, math and movement with observation and participation with young children required. On completion, student will be able to select and implement creative and age-appropriate experiences for young children.

CHD 203: Children’s Literature and Language Development

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course surveys appropriate literature and language arts activities designed to enhance young children’s speaking, listening, pre-reading and writing skills. Emphasis is placed on developmental appropriateness as related to language. Upon completion, students should be able to create, evaluate and demonstrate activities which support a language-rich environment for young children. This is a CORE course.


Appropriate placement scores.

CHD 204: Methods and Materials for Teaching Young Children

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course introduces basic methods and materials used in teaching young children. Emphasis is placed on students compiling a professional resource file of activities used for teaching math, language arts, science, and social studies concepts. Upon completion students will be able to demonstrate basic methods of creating learning experiences using developmental appropriate techniques, materials, and realistic expectations. Course includes observations of young children in a variety of childcare environments. This is a CORE course. NOTE: CGM must teach this as a 2-1-3 configuration of theory/lab hours.

CHD 206: Children’s Health and Safety

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course introduces basic health, nutrition and safety management practices for young children. Emphasis is placed on how to set up and maintaining safe, healthy environments for young children including specific procedures for infants and toddlers and procedures regarding childhood illnesses and communicable diseases. This is a CORE course.

CHD 209: Infant and Toddler Education Programs

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course focuses on child development from infancy through thirty-five months of age with emphasis on planning programs using developmentally appropriate materials. Emphasis is placed on positive ways to support an infant or toddler’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Upon completion, the students should be able to plan an infant-toddler program and environment that is appropriate and supportive of the families and the children.

CHD 210: Educating Exceptional Children

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course explores the many different types of exceptionalities found in young children. Topics include speech, language, hearing and visual impairments, gifted and talented children, mental retardation, emotional, behavioral, and neurological handicaps. Upon completion, students should be able to identify appropriate strategies for working with children. This is a CORE course.

CHD 213: Child Development Trends Seminar

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course includes current topics in the child development field as an update to the professional caregiver industry needs determined by course topics. Upon completion of this class, students will demonstrate the competency needed in meeting the course objectives.

CHD 214: Families and Communities in Early Care and Education Programs

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course provides students with information about working with diverse families and communities. Students will be introduced to family and community settings, the importance of relationships with children, and the pressing needs of today’s society. Students will study and practice techniques for developing these important relationships and effective communication skills.

CHD 217: Math and Science for Young Children

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 3 Lab Hours 0

This course provides students with information on children’s conceptual development and the fundamental basic concepts of both math and science. Students learn various techniques for planning, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate activities. Students will also learn about integrated curriculum.

CHD 222: Social Studies for Children

Credits 3 Lecture Hours 2 Lab Hours 1

This course takes a global approach to the theory and practice of teaching social studies to young children. It includes methods and materials used for teaching geography, history, the arts and multicultural education using an integrated curriculum approach. The application of theoretical and philosophical concepts will be emphasized, as students are required to participate in both in-class demonstrations and laboratory experiences.