Child Development

Why study child development?

If you love children and want to have an impact during what we know are the most crucial years of life in terms of development, then a career working with infants, young children, and their families might be for you. Child development courses at Parkland include practical, hands-on learning with instructors with real-life experience in the field. Students spend time observing and working with children at Parkland’s Child Development Center and other area programs and facilities. The program has been designed for both full- and part-time students and classes are available both on-campus and online.

At Parkland, you'll have the advantage of small class sizes, taught by master faculty—never teaching assistants. Your success is our priority.

“We have had two Parkland students from the program work for our team and it has been a wonderful experience for the children and staff.”  — Owner, Busy Bunnies Preschool

“There’s much more to child development than just playing with children.” — CHD student   


Parkland College offers classes in child development which lead to a transfer degree or a career in the field.

Child Development Courses

Child Growth and Development (CHD 105): Theory and principles of development prenatal through adolescence with emphasis on early childhood.

Socialization and Guidance for the Young Child (CHD 115):Basic theory and influences on children's behavior with an emphasis on social-emotional development. 

Introduction to Early Childhood Education (CHD 122):Study and analysis of preschool/primary educational programs and practices, including techniques/methods utilized in working with young children. 

Program Planning for the Young Child (CHD 124):Total program planning consistent with developmental needs of children from two to five years of age in child-care situations. 

Observation and Assessment (CHD 125):In-depth study of young children through the use of developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive observation and assessment techniques.

Caring for Infants and Toddlers (CHD 134):Development and needs of children under the age of three. Considers the infant in family, day-care home, and day-care center settings.

Health, Safety, and Nutrition of the Young Child (CHD 201):Provides an overview of personal health of the individual and of children in group settings, including nutrition, health and safety issues, and skills for teaching these concepts to young children.

Music and Arts for the Young Child (CHD 216): Activities for the artistic education of young children, with appropriate experiences in music and music appreciation, movement, drama, and art appreciation.

Language and Literature for the Young Child (CHD 217): Language skills and language development in areas of listening, speaking, pre-writing, and pre-reading. Children's literature is introduced; learn and practice skills for using books with children.

Math and Science for the Young Child (CHD 218):Basic mathematics and science concepts are introduced, acquainting the student with skills and methods appropriate for use with young children.

Assisting in the Child-Care Center (CHD 222):Students observe/participate in 135 hours in a early childhood program. Focus on observation, interaction, curriculum planning, guidance, and evaluation/reflection on own knowledge, skills, and attitudes. 

Child, Family, and Community (CHD 223):Focuses on the child in the context of family and community. Includes issues of communication, diversity, professionalism, and social policy, and promotes awareness and effective use of community resources. 

The Exceptional Child (CHD 242):Introduces range of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional special needs in children.

Field Experience in the Child-Care Setting (CHD 250):Students participate for 200 hours as an intern in a child-care center and become acquainted with teaching and administrative procedures of the center.

Administration of Day-Care Centers (CHD 260):Administrative duties in a child-care center; evaluation of child-care centers, development of leadership abilities, and utilization of community resources are emphasized.

Administration of the Family Day-Care Home (CHD 272): Knowledge and skills needed to run a family day-care home; setting up a day-care home, business management and administrative skills, child development principles as applicable to home day care, home and community, home and parents.

Will my classes transfer?

Parkland College classes with an even middle digit (such as ENG 101, MAT 128, and BIO 141) are accepted for transfer as general education classes, major courses, or electives as determined by the transfer institution. 

For more information about transferring, speak with an academic advisor and visit the Parkland Course Matrix.


The Parkland Child Development Program offers certificate and associate's degree programs that will help you to begin your career in a child-related field or help you improve the work you are already doing with young children. Parkland provides training required by the Illinois DCFS, the Child Development Associate (CDA), and various Illinois Gateways Credentials. Improving your knowledge and skills in educating and caring for children is a way to impact the world. 

Learn more about how these courses fit into a transfer degree or the general education core curriculum (GECC)