CHD-203: Introduction to Early Childhood Education: Birth - 8

Health & Human Services
Child Development
Academic Level
Course Subject
Child Care
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to Early Childhood Education: Birth - 8
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

An introductory course in the field of early childhood education, focusing on the history and development of educational programs for young children birth to age eight. Students will develop a better understanding of the role of adults, basic child development theory, domains of development, play relationships, developing positive relationships with diverse families, observation in early childhood programs, curriculum development, and child guidance. This course is a pre-requisite for the rest of the required CORE courses in the Children and Families Program.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Principles of Child development and learning
  2. History, Major Theorists, and Trends in Early Childhood Education
  3. Types of educational programs provided in infant, toddler, and preschool care.
  4. Curriculum Development
  5. Classroom communication, guidance, discipline, planning, observation, and interactions.
  6. Working with families and community
  7. Domains of Development
  8. Learning through Play
  9. Program planning for young children
  10. Observation and Assessment
  11. Early Childhood Teachers and Caregivers
  12. Approaches to early childhood education
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Discuss the basic principles of child development and learning for children ages birth to eight.
  2. Summarize the history, major theorists, and related trends in early childhood education.
  3. Explain the difference between infant, toddler, and preschool child care settings.
  4. Select developmentally age appropriate curriculum in the following areas: creative, physical, cognitive, language, and social development.
  5. Discuss all areas of early childhood education including communication, interaction, guidance, discipline, planning, observation, and group interactions.
  6. Identify effective strategies for establishing productive relationships including parent, family, and community in early childhood programs.
  7. Identify the domains of development in early childhood education.
  8. Explain the importance of play in early childhood education programs.
  9. Discuss key factors in developmentally appropriate program planning for children ages birth to eight.
  10. Distinguish between basic observation and assessment methods used in early childhood classrooms.
  11. Describe the qualifications and responsibilities of early childhood teachers and caregivers.
  12. Distinguish between approaches such as Montessori, Reggio, High Scope, Cognitive, Waldorf, and Creative Curriculum.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Assessment of academic achievement will be based on:

  1. A series of tests
  2. Written assignments
  3. Research paper
  4. Small group projects
  5. Verbal presentations
  6. Hands on demonstration and discussion
General Course Requirements and Recommendations

The grade for CHD-203 (Lecture) and CHD-211 (Field Experience) are separate. It is possible to pass CHD-203 and not CHD-211 and vice versa. Students must pass CHD-203 with a grade of C or better.

The following NAEYC Associate Degree Standards are met by this course at the understanding or application level:

1. Promoting Child Development and Learning:
* 1a: Knowing and understanding young children's characteristics and needs.
* 1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning.

2. Building Family and Community Relationships:
* 2a: Knowing about and understanding diverse families and communities.
* 2b: Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
* 2c: Involving families and communities in young children's development and learning.

3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families:
* 3c: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child.

4. Using Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families:
* 4a: Knowing, understanding, and using positive relationships.

5. Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum:
* 5a: Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic discipline


Determined by the Department Lead Instructor


Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Departmental Exam
Additional CPCLL Fee
Minimum Departmental Exam Score
Oral exam 20 out of 30 points; Written essay 35 out of 50 points
Departmental Exam Details

A Written Essay and Oral Exam will be issued by the program director or their designee. These exams will be graded by the program director based on evaluation rubrics.

The student must contact the program director to schedule an appointment for each of the following requirements:
•Complete an Oral exam which will focus on the student’s knowledge in the six CDA Competency Areas.

•Complete a Written essay which will be a 1 ½-2 page Developmental Area essay which will focus on the student’s knowledge of the developmental areas in early childhood education, for example: Cognitive, Social, Language, & Physical. The essay will be assessed against an evaluation rubric.

If the student passes the oral exam and written essay & provides the licensure/certification requirements, they will be eligible for CPCLL for both CHD 203 and CHD 211.
If the student fails either the oral exam or written essay or both, the student will receive one more opportunity within two weeks to meet with the program director again to complete the part(s) failed.
If the student fails either part the second time, the student will be required to take both the CHD 203 and CHD 211 courses and will not be able to use his or her CDA credential alone.

Note:Because of the CDA Council's 2.0 revisions that took place in 2016, any student with a CDA not falling under the new 2.0 CDA requirements will not be considered for the CPCLL and will automatically have to register for CHD 203 and CHD 211.

Current Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
Licensure/Certification Details

Students with a current CDA Credential may request credit for prior learning. The student will be required to scan, fax, mail or hand deliver a copy of the CDA Credential to the program director. The Children and Families Program Director will verify certifications.

In order to be considered for the CPCLL, the student must complete the following:

The student must provide the Program Director with a copy of a current Infant/Toddler, Preschool, or Home Provider
CDA Credential and the following:

  • For students that are CDA Renewal Candidates: This is a valid CDA Credential that is stamped with “Renewal.” The Council for Professional Recognition requires the completion of 45 clock hours (4.5 CEUs) of training as part of your CDA renewal process.

    • Student must provide proof of 45 clock hours (4.5 CEUs) of training in early childhood education/child development that is related to the individual's CDA setting. This may be verified through a training certificate/letter on the Organization's company letter head or the student must provide an official college course transcript showing the early childhood course taken.
    • The student must provide a letter verifying 80 hours of work experience with young children or families of young children within the past year.
    • The student complete the Departmental Exam section of this CPCLL.

    • For students that are Current CDA Candidates: The valid CDA Credential does not say “Renewal.”

    • The student must provide a copy of the individual's current CDA Credential.
    • The student must complete the Departmental Exam section of this CPCLL

NOTE: A copy of the CDA Credential will be retained in the Department Office.

Note: Students interested in transferring into the Children and Families Program and whose CDA Credential has expired will automatically have to take CHD-203 and CHD-211. Those who took college courses to complete their CDA (specifically if expired) should contact the Children and Families Program Director to have their college transcript reviewed before registering for CHD-203 and CHD-211.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2020
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date