Instructional Program Overview

photo collage of children


The Child Development and Teacher Education Department at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) teaches students to work with young children and their families in a variety of roles and settings.  Early education programs include state-funded children's programs, private and public preschools, 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.  Students can earn SRJC certificates that align with the California Child Development Permit Matrix, in order to qualify for various education roles in the field of early care and education.  The Child Development Major and Early Childhood Education for Transfer Major meet the requirements of the California Community College Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project.  At present, our core classes can be easily transferred to other approved colleges or universities.

Our Philosophy

The Child Development and Teacher Education Department believes that children learn best in a nurturing environment that supports their physical, social, emotional, cognitive and creative development. Our curriculum framework emphasizes the belief that children grow and develop optimally through play. Curriculum is designed to meet the characteristics of a child's developmental stage, as well as taking into account each child's 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.

Child Development Employment Opportunities

The need for 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 and Teacher Education Department strongly recommends that students transferring to four-year institutions with the goal of becoming primary grade school teachers take Child Development courses.  All teachers need to have a strong foundation in child development.

Information About Our Classes

The Child Development and Teacher Education Department offers classes in the day, evening, and on weekends at both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses, as well as online. We strongly advise all students to make an appointment with a counselor to determine the best educational and career pathway. Additionally, it is recommended that students take English and Math placement tests to gain access to the individual support to ensure success.  Contact the Counseling Department for more information.

Schedule of classes

Counseling Department

The Child Development Major

This Child Development Major includes nine essential Child Development courses and a one-unit Library Sciences course required for 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 Major

Early Childhood Education for Transfer Major (AS - T)

The Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education for Transfer degree provides the foundational courses for transfer into upper division programs in Child Development, Human Development, Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Studies, Child and Adolescent Development.  The degree consists of evidence-based courses that are intended to become a foundational core for all early care and education professionals. Students will receive a comprehensive survey of the field of early childhood education including the growth and development of young children, the role of community and society in that development and the fundamentals of being an early childhood educator in a variety of settings.

Early Childhood Education for Transfer Major

Child Development Certificates

The Child Development and Teacher Education Department offers three different certificates for students interested in a career in early childhood education: 

The Child Development Associate Teacher Certificate is a twelve (12) unit certificate that provides an introduction to child development theory and the skills needed to work with young children.  These initial classes are also offered in Spanish.

Associate Teacher Certificate

The Child Development Teacher Certificate is a thirty (30) unit certificate that builds on the skills needed to work with young children, provides further education in diversity issues, and includes supervised teacher training. 

Teacher Certificate

The Children in the Justice System Certificate is an eighteen (18) unit certificate offered jointly by our department and the Administration of Justice Program. It prepares students for careers working with children involved in the court system.

Children in the Justice System Certificate