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Program Overview

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The Child Development Department teaches students to work with young children and their families in a variety of roles and settings, such as state-funded children's programs, private and public preschools, and family child-care and public school programs. Classes in Child Development can lead to careers working directly or indirectly with children in related fields, such as psychology, social services, and pediatric health. Certificates can be earned that will qualify a professional to perform various educational functions in the field of early care and education. The Child Development Major meets the requirements of the California Community College Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project, thus these core classes can be easily transferred to other approved colleges or universities.

Our Philosophy

The Child Development Department at SRJC believes that children learn best in a nurturing environment where they are allowed to make choices. Our curriculum framework emphasizes the belief that children grow and develop optimally through play. Curriculum is designed to meet the characteristics of both their developmental stage and their own unique background. Our department's goal is to educate a diverse population of students in the application of this framework, based on a thorough understanding of child growth and development, as well as relevant cultural issues.

Child Development Employment Opportunites

The need for trained early childhood professionals continues to grow due to the increasing numbers of families that must rely on qualified personnel to take care of and teach their children. The Child Development Department strongly recommends that students transferring to four-year institutions with the goal of becoming primary grade school teachers take as many Child Development courses as possible. All teachers need to have a strong foundation in child development.

Information About Our Classes

The Child Development Department offers classes in the day, evening, and on weekends at both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses and online. We strongly advise all students to make an appointment with a counselor to determine the best educational and career pathway. Additionally, you should take English and math placement tests to ensure that you have access to the individual support you need to be successful. You can contact the Counseling Department at 527-4689.

The Child Development Major

The Child Development Major includes nine essential Child Development courses and a one-unit library sciences course required of all SRJC Majors. The nine courses represent a strong foundation of the issues, skills, and competencies needed to be an effective early childhood teacher. They are based on the most current research and have been aligned with other California community colleges throughout the system.

Child Development Certificates

The Child Development Department offers three different certificates for students interested in a career in early childhood education. The Associate Teacher Career Certificates provides an introduction to child development theory and the skills needed to work with young children. It fulfills the course requirements for the Associate Teacher Permit on the Child Development Permit Matrix. These initial classes are also offered in Spanish with a required vocational ESL class as a corequisite.

The Child Development Teacher Certificate builds on those skills, provides further education in diversity issues, and includes supervised teacher training. This certificate parallels the Teacher level of the Child Development Permit. The Children in the Justice System Career Certificate is a joint certificate offered by our department and the Administration of Justice Program. It prepares students for careers working with children involved in the court system.

Starting Family Child Care in Your Home – We Can Help!

SRJC’s Child Development Department can give you the assistance you need to make sure that your home is a great place for children and parents. We offer a variety of classes that help you provide a rewarding, exciting, and nurturing environment for the children you serve.

We know that the family child-care provider works long hours and has trouble attending classes during the day or in the evenings, so we'll bring the classes to you. With our online classes, you can attend during the hours that are convenient for you without leaving your home. In addition to our other online classes, we offer four different courses specifically for the family child-care provider.

  • CHLD 213 Business Aspects of Operating a Family Child Care Home
  • CHLD 212 Creating Partnerships with Parents in Family Child Care Homes
  • CHLD 211 Creating Learning Environments in the Family Child Care Home
  • CHLD 210 Curriculum and Guidance for Children in Mixed Aged Settings