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Child Development and Early Education Program


Lansing Community College offers three program options in Child Development and Early Education. Each addresses the various components of high quality early education and care in a variety of settings and for all ages, including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children. Instructional methods include lecture-discussion, hands-on experiences, and supervised fieldwork. Some courses are offered on-line or as a hybrid.

Graduates of these programs may apply for the national CDA credential through the National Council for Professional Recognition. Requirements vary, but many centers require an associate degree or a child development associate (CDA) credential. Minimum state requirements for program directors are 60 semester credits with at least 18 credits in child development and 2 credits of Early Childhood Program Administration.

The Child Development and Early Education Associate in Arts Degree program has been awarded Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


To view degree and certificate requirements click on the curriculum code below.


Degrees and Certificates

Gainful Employment


Child Development - Certificate of Achievement (PDF)

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This is a 39-credit, three semester program that prepares students for positions as assistant teachers or teachers in early education and care programs. Course work for the certificate can be applied toward the associate degree.


Child Development - Associate in Arts Degree (PDF)
This is a 66-credit program that can be completed in a minimum of four semesters. It qualifies individuals to be teachers or program directors in early education and care programs.

Frequent Questions about Curriculum #1637 (PDF)


Training for CDA/Certificate of Completion (PDF)

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This is an 16-credit, three semester program that provides the training necessary for qualified individuals to apply for the national Child Development Associate Credential. Coursework can be applied toward the certificate of achievement or the associate degree.

Click here to view Advising Guide

Field Placement Policies

Seminars for Early Education and Care Professionals

Child Development and Early Education Seminars supplement the core courses and provide professional development for early education and care personnel. A variety of times and formats, (including weekends) meet the needs of early education and care workers.

Course Offerings

Many of the courses are offered at LCC throughout the academic year and can be taken to upgrade current skills or fulfill degree and certificate requirements. Click here to visit the Course Offerings page for information pertaining to courses available during a particular semester and to view course descriptions.

To schedule an appointment with a program advisor or for specific program information, contact the Child Development and Early Education Program at: (517) 483-1972 or (517) 483-1410.

Nature of Work

Child development workers are care providers, teaching assistants, teachers or directors in early education and child care centers or family child care homes. They provide quality care and education for infants, toddlers, preschoolers or school youngsters in both full-day and part-day programs. They promote the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of children through positive interactions and developmentally appropriate activities. Program directors are responsible for the entire daily operation of the center.

Young children learn mainly through play. Recognizing the importance of play, child development workers build their program around it. They plan activities and interactions that capitalize on children's play to further language and literacy development (storytelling and pretend play), improve social skills (working together during play with blocks), and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts (balancing and counting blocks, when building a bridge or mixing colors when painting). Thus, early education and care teachers help children learn through active involvement with materials and people. Techniques include small group activities, individual interactions, and learning through creative activities, such as art, dramatic play, and music.

Interaction with peers is an important part of child's early development. Preschool children are given an opportunity to engage in conversation and discussions, and learn to play and work cooperatively with their classmates. Child development workers play a vital role in preparing children to build the skills they will need in school.

Employment Prospects

Employment of child development workers is projected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Many child development workers leave the occupation each year to take other jobs, to meet family responsibilities or for other reasons. Qualified persons who are interested in this work should have little trouble finding and keeping a job.

Skills You Need

Early education and childcare work requires patience, creativity, flexibility, and the ability to nurture. Good communication and positive guidance skills are essential. Teachers and directors must possess leadership, teamwork and organizational skills, and the ability to problem solve.

Expected Earnings

Salaries vary widely according to job status and agency. Current starting salaries may be $7 to $15 per hour for child care workers. Director salaries may be higher. Pay depends on the educational attainment of the worker and the type of establishment.

Child Development Program Related Links

Early Childhood Standards for Infants/Toddlers

Early Childhood Standards for Pre-Kindergarten

Early Childhood Investment Corporation

Great Start to Quality

National Associate for the Education of Young Children

Council for Professional Recognition (CDA Credential)

Occupational Outlook Handbook United States

Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Office for Young Children

Ingham Great Start Collaborative


State of Michigan Child Care

Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start
"Child Care and Early Education Research Connections," is a free, federally-funded Web site offering a comprehensive, up-to-date, and easy-to-use collection of more than 13,000 resources from the many disciplines related to child care and early education. The site allows users to search, refine searches, download full-text resources, analyze data on line, and perform many other tasks important to researchers, policymakers, and education decision-makers.

LCC Scholarships

For information on the LCC Scholarship Application process please click here.

For LCC Foundation Occupational Program Award Information available to Health and Human Services Division Students, please click here

For further questions regarding LCC Scholarships, please contact the Foundation Office at (517) 483-1989.

Other Scholarships Available:

T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps)
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Michigan is a statewide scholarship program designed to help child care center teaching staff, preschool teachers,
family child care providers, group home owners, center directors, and administrators meet their professional development goals while continuing their current employment in regulated early childhood and school age care settings.

Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children
Student Leadership Scholarship
Application available at

Early LCC - Early Learning Children's Community

It is through a sense of community among Early LCC staff, children and families that we are able to create the most positive early learning experience for young children.

Learning in a positive early education and care setting occurs for your young child at Lansing Community College's Early Learning Children's Community (Early LCC). Professional early childhood teachers and LCC students offer an enriched and stimulating environment.

Early LCC goals are to:

Provide developmentally-appropriate early education and care in a nurturing environment that promotes growth of the whole child while responding to the needs of the family.

Provide learning opportunities for LCC students integrating classroom academics with real-world experiences to the child and family development.

Provide a culturally sensitive, healthy learning environment in which children, families and staff are inspired to reach their fullest potential.

The State Board of Education provides funding to support the Michigan School Readiness Program. Early LCC is a Head Start partner. Head Start is funded by the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services.


  • Educational activities within a play-based, child-centered environment.
  • Planned experiences meeting the child's developmental needs.
  • Supportive interactions valuing the uniqueness of each child.

Where We Are Located

Early LCC is located at the north end of the downtown campus, north of the Health and Human Services Building

Open 7:30-5:30, Monday through Friday.

How to Enroll

You can schedule a visit to Early LCC and address questions regarding the program and the enrollment process to LCC's Early LCC Director Becky Stoessner, by calling (517) 483-1100.

Health and Human Services at Lansing Community College

Child Development
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
Additional contact information »