An understanding of early childhood development is a prerequisite for many career options. Child development professionals work directly with children as teachers, teacher assistants, home care providers, and early childhood mental health specialists. In addition, child development coursework provides the foundation for such diverse career options as pediatric nursing, child psychology, children's librarianship, playground design, early childhood program director, family court child advocate and parent educator. Opportunities exist to work with children from birth through eight years of age in a variety of settings. Salaries in the field are fair, with higher wages going to those with more college units, and to those with certificates or degrees.

Employment Outlook

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data about the state’s workforce. These data include information about the number of people employed in the field, job outlook, and wage information. The California EDD predicts for the period 2008-2018 the number of openings for preschool teachers to increase by over 8% and preschool and elementary special education teachers to increase by nearly 20%. For more detailed information about positions in the child development and education fields, check the California Occupational Guide for the occupations listed below:

  • Preschool Teachers (SOC 25-2011)
  • Special Education Teachers - Preschool (SOC 25-2051)
  • Education Administrators - Preschool and Child Care Center (SOC 11-9031)

Necessary Education and Skills for Career Success

A father greets his son at the child care facility while male child care worker helps a child in the background.Individuals working in child development should have both an interest and an aptitude for working with children. They should be patient, enthusiastic and able to communicate effectively with a younger audience. They should write clearly to maintain notes of activities and events for reference. Many positions relating to child development require state-issued licenses or permits. Individuals who are interested in careers in child development should be aware of all relevant requirements before beginning this career path.

General Info About the Program

De Anza College offers several certificate and degree programs to help individuals prepare for careers in child development and education. These programs can also be used for in-service training for career advancement. Coursework is organized to meet California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) licensing requirements and to allow specializations in infancy, preschool, program administration, special education and other areas of interest.

Child Development Certificate and Degree Programs

Certificate of Achievement

Certificates of Achievement-Advanced

Associate Degree (A.A.)

Associate in Science for Transfer Degree (A.S.-T)

For more information about the Child Development and Education Department:
De Anza CDC 11

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