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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Child Development

Majors Overview February 2, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Child Development and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and professional certification choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Child Development

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in child development are provided practical experience and content knowledge in early literacy and reading, in addition to teaching techniques employable with young children from numerous cultural backgrounds. Students enrolled in these programs are ready for the state-level licensure related to teaching.

Positive academic and social development in children ranging from newborn infants to eight-year-old adolescents can be fostered by graduates.

Students can expect to become adept at evaluating healthy development and identifying children and infants with disabilities. Additionally, child development students are taught about creating and planning learning-based activities for children regardless of their ability levels.

These undergraduate programs focus strongly on cultural diversity and family involvement. In order to impart hands-on experience working with young children, the program includes practicums and internships. Completion of some bachelor’s programs in child development could result in a teaching license.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. They may have to complete and submit a general application to the school of education within a university or college. Having prior child development experience or an associate’s degree may suffice to gain admission to some programs.


Coursework includes courses in reading, literacy, and instruction. Core coursework may also include the following:

•Child abuse and neglect issues
•Integrating instructional technology
•Emergent literacy
•Families in the educational process
•Literacy in multilingual settings
•Observation and assessment
•Intervention for infants and children with disabilities
•Development assessment
•Psychosocial development in infants and children

Career Choices

Those that complete a bachelor’s degree program can expect to develop the competencies and skills necessary to work with young children and their families in various public and privately funded environments. They may choose from numerous career options, including:

•Day care infant specialist
•Parenting educator
•Head Start teacher

Job and Wage Outlook

Preschool and childcare center directors have been predicted to have a 17% job growth rate. Meanwhile, childcare workers are expected to see a 14% growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, education administrators of preschool and childcare centers brought home an average annual wage of $43,950, while childcare workers earned $19,510 per annum (BLS).

Continuing Education and Professional Certification Options

Those that graduate from child development bachelor’s programs could become eligible to take state licensure exams for teachers. These exams usually cover practical teaching and general education knowledge.

Graduates could also opt for continuing education aimed at advancing their knowledge in the field by earning a master’s degree in early childhood education or child development. Those seeking managerial or administrative roles in the field can benefit from these graduate programs that provide in-depth practical knowledge and research experience.

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