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What Kinds of Diploma Programs Are Available in Child Development?

Diploma programs are similar to certificate programs in the sense that they provide focused training in a particular field or specialization, without coursework in general education. Child development diploma programs are typically found at the undergraduate level at technical or community colleges. Keep reading to learn about the different types of diploma programs available in child development.

Diploma Programs for Child Development Certification Prep

Many child development diploma programs prepare students to become Child Development Associates (CDA). The CDA credential is organized into three different areas, or settings, including facility-based settings, home visits and family child care, reports the Council for Professional Recognition.

A large number of diploma programs in child development incorporate into their curriculum the 120 clock-hour eligibility requirement established by the Council. Once the program is completed and the CDA is earned, endorsements are added to the credential based on the setting in which they wish to work. Other CDA endorsements include preschool, infant and toddler, bilingual and early childhood.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Key Skills Communication, decision-making skills and physical stamina
Prerequisites Varies between program and degree levels, but a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required
Continuing Education The CDA requires continuing education courses every three years to maintain certification
Online Availability Programs can be completed entirely online
Median Salary (2018)$23,240 (Childcare Workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Childcare Workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Programs for Head Start Careers

Diploma programs are also available to aspiring child development professionals who wish to work in Head Start programs. Head Start is a government-run program overseen by the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is designed to help children of low-income families obtain skills in math and reading, as well as fostering thorough social growth and development.

Some diploma programs in child development are specifically designed for those wishing to find work as an assistant teacher in a Head Start program. Such programs include coursework on child safety, nutrition, and management of social environments.

Programs in Special-Needs Childcare

Students can also find child development diploma programs that prepare them to work with special needs children. These programs train students to work in settings for children with Down's Syndrome, autism or other disorders. Some diploma programs incorporate American Sign Language coursework, preparing students to work closely with children who have hearing impairments.