What Can I Do with a Child Development Associate Degree?

By completing an associate's degree program in child development, you'll be prepared to help children learn and develop with a career in early childhood education. Read on for details about three career directions you may take. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Child Development Associate Degree Program and Career Overview

Typically, you can complete a child development associate degree program in about two years. Classes you may take include infant development, toddler development, family dynamics, health and safety, children's nutrition, early childhood education subjects and children's literature. General education courses are also likely to be included. Additionally, you typically need to observe children in education settings and complete practical training.

Careers you'll be eligible for once you hold this degree include child care professional in a licensed child care center, lead educator in an early childhood educational program or teaching assistant in a public school. Earning a child development associate's degree can also be a stepping stone toward completing a bachelor's degree program in early childhood education or child development.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Child Care Worker Preschool Teacher Teaching Assistant
Median Annual Salary (2018) $23,240 $29,780 $26,970
Job Growth (2016-2026) 7% 10% 8%
Key Skills Instructional and interpersonal skills; physical stamina Interpersonal and organizational skills; creativity Communication and interpersonal skills; patience
Work Environment Child care centers or at home; part-time and irregular hours are possible. Public and private schools; often on 10-month schedule Public and private schools; often part-time

Child Care Worker

The educational requirements you'll need to meet to work in or operate a child care facility vary widely by state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many child care centers prefer that you hold at least an associate degree. If you'd like to work in a child care environment, child development associate degree courses you could find useful include those that address infant and toddler development, childhood nutrition and language development.

Preschool Teacher

The BLS notes that as of 2012, all workers in preschool programs subject to meeting federal standards, such as Head Start, were required to hold at least an associate degree. Additionally, states that fund preschool programs for 4-year-olds separately from other preschool programs often set higher education requirements; these requirements will determine the positions you'll be eligible for as an associate degree holder. As a lead teacher, you'll find that child development courses that address the social, cognitive and physical developmental stages of preschool children will be especially valuable when planning your daily curriculum and activities.

Public School Teaching Assistant

To work in a Title 1 school as a teaching assistant, you'll be required to have an associate degree or higher. An associate degree in child development, in combination with on-the-job training, will prepare you for work in the public school environment, where you'll assist full-time teachers with instruction preparation, classroom management and record keeping. The needs of your lead teacher will dictate your specific responsibilities, but courses in children's literature, adult-child relationships and elementary game activities might prove particularly helpful.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Pellissippi State Technical Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Knoxville
  • York County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Wells
  • Western Oklahoma State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Altus
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Parkersburg
  • Weber State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Utah: Ogden
  • Washington County Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Maine: Calais
  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • Walters State Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Morristown