Prepare students to work with young children and their families. Addresses a variety of components that are conducive to high quality early childhood education settings. The curriculum is organized around core courses that meet the NAEYC Standards for Associate Degree Programs, and provide skills and knowledge needed by early childhood educators. Students successfully completing the Children and Families Program will be equipped to work in a variety of program settings as a lead teacher, teacher assistant, program director, assistant director, or home provider/owner. The Children and Families Associate Degree may be used as a terminal degree or a degree transferable to universities with four-year programs in Children and Families, Child Development or Early Childhood Education.
Mission: To provide high quality teaching and learning experiences to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities in the prospective Early Childhood Educator so that students can readily matriculate to transfer institutions and serve as educators who value diversity and excellence in Early Childhood Education
Vision: To prepare qualified early childhood teachers who understand how children learn, and can plan and implement developmentally and individually appropriate learning experiences that are aligned to standards and are based on knowledge of individual children from diverse backgrounds, taking into account the family, the community, and curricular goals and objectives.
Features of HFC's Children and Families degree:
- Alignment with the NAEYC Associate Degree Standards
- Field Experience or Practicum hours (a total of 180) observing and / or practicing skills and learning first hand about children's development, interests, and abilities
- A Field Experience Coordinator who provides field experience evaluations and individual coaching and mentoring
- Experienced and Educated Master level program instructors who are currently working in the early childhood field
- Small classes with a variety of instructional methods (lecture, small groups, hands on experiences, individual presentations, etc.)
- Selected Program classes can be used for those seeking a CDA certification
- Articulation agreements with five universities
- Students graduating with a Children and Families Associate in Arts degree will be qualified to work in a variety of Early Childhood settings
- Analyze age appropriate children's literature for use in early childhood classrooms.
- Apply knowledge and understanding of effective strategies, tools, and use of hardware for teaching in the early childhood classroom, through the appropriate use of technology.
- Use developmental knowledge and skills to create an environment that supports each child's health, physical, nutritional, and safety needs.
- Use present knowledge of child development to create a safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate learning environment that is culturally respectful and inclusive
- Create environments that are supportive of the child's individual characteristics and developmental needs as supported by theoretical perspectives and current research.
- Apply knowledge about the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
- Create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
- Use systemic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in partnership with families and other professionals to positively influence children’s development.
- Apply knowledge of children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive changes from birth-five to teaching.
- Analyze age appropriate children's literature for its use in the early childhood classroom with infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
- Evaluate books for children birth-five for criteria such as color, pictures, words, language, bias, theme, storyline, racial stereotypes, and cultural diversity.
- Design and conduct investigations using appropriate scientific methods and techniques by developing critical thinking skills to generate answers to questions that can be investigated empirically.
- Explain proper protocol to be followed for maintaining safety in the classroom.
- Apply developmentally appropriate practices to teaching and learning.
- Apply ethical guidelines and professional standards related to early childhood practices.
Private, Head Start/Early Head Start, GSRP, Public School Pre-Kindergarten classrooms, Elementary Schools, and In-Home Family or Group Care:
- Home group care professional
- Lead teacher
- Teacher assistant
- Program director
- Assistant director
- In-home care provider/owner
Child Development Associate (CDA) Preparation:
The CDA is a credential that is issued by the Council for Professional Recognition. This is a national credential earned by individuals working with children age five and younger in child care settings. The courses required for the CDA provide the training needed to fulfill the 120 clock hours required by the CDA Council to apply for the CDA Credential. There are additional requirements the CDA applicant must complete before applying to the National Council for Professional Development including 480 hours of experience working with young children ages birth - five (this excludes hours working with kindergarten children) within the last three years, a completed Portfolio, a CDA Exam and an Observation by a CDA Professional Development Specialist (PDS) among other documentation. For more information, please see the Council for Professional Recognition About The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential website
Note: Henry Ford College does not award or recommend the applicant to obtain the CDA. This is a separate process that the candidate must complete on his/her own. It is suggested that students applying for this credential are either currently working or volunteering in an early childhood setting. Interested students should consider completing the following courses for preparation prior to seeking the CDA credential:
Preschool CDA: Required Courses:
In Home Provider CDA:
- CHD-201: Child Development: Introduction to Creative Child Care
- CHD-202: Child Development CDA Portfolio/Assessment Preparation
- Complete one:
Transferring Into the Children and Families Program and Using Field Experience Hours
- Henry Ford College students choosing to continue their education after receiving their CDA, may bypass CHD-203, CHD-211, and the third CHD class taken to get the CDA Credential.
Students with a current CDA who are transferring into the Children and Families Program, but did not take their CDA classes at Henry Ford College, may bypass CHD-203 and CHD-211 only. Credit may be granted for any additional early childhood CDA courses taken at a community college or university. All students must produce the original (current) CDA Credential issued by the National Council for Professional Development. Please contact the Program Director for additional information.
- Students completing CDA courses with a Practicum or Field Experience as a Co-requisite, may apply their hours working with children (in your CDA age group) towards the 480 clock hours required by the CDA Council. Those seeking the CDA Credential should maintain a record of hours completed for each Field Experience or Practicum for their CDA Portfolio.
Individuals employed, volunteering, or completing field / practicum experiences in early childhood programs are required to provide evidence of a current physical exam, current Tuberculosis (TB) test, a Department of Human Services (DHS) clearance and an Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) background check. Students who are currently employed in early childhood programs will more than likely have a background check on file at their job. Students with a background check on file will need to produce a copy of the report for their Children and Families Program Field Experience/Practicum file. The report must be current (the Coordinator of Field Experiences will determine this). Students who do not currently have a background check will need to obtain one through the Michigan.gov Website. There is a $10 charge for the background check. This is the responsibility of all students registering for a field experience or practicum course.
Some Field experience or Practicum sites may/may not require a resume to be on file. Students will be informed of this requirement before starting their field experience or practicum.