Child Development: Early Childhood, Associate in Arts

Program Code: 0210


Are you interested in learning about how children learn, grow and thrive? Does the idea of joining the ranks of in-demand child care professionals excite you? If yes, then the Child Development Early Childhood pathway may be right for you. As a Child Development student at City Colleges you will learn about children’s social, emotional, and physical development, and the theories and real world skills required to teach children from birth to age 8.

There are a variety of education pathways students can explore. Outlined here are the steps we suggest you take to earn an Associate in Arts degree with a built-in Basic Certificate in Child Development: Pre-school Education. You can then transfer to a four-year institution. Early Childhood teachers at public schools in Illinois are required to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited College of Education and an Early Childhood Professional Educator license from the Illinois State Board of Education. If you are looking for shorter-term degree options, be sure to ask your College Advisor about City the Colleges’ Advanced Certificate and Associate in Applied Science degrees in Early Childhood Education.

This is an example course sequence for students interested in pursuing child development. This does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If this pathway is followed as outlined, you will earn an Associate in Arts (AA) degree and a Basic Certificate (BC) in Child Development: Pre-school Education. One course will satisfy the Human Diversity (HD) requirement, and is labeled with an (HD) in the sequence below. Following this pathway will help you get your associate degree, which will increase your chances of transfer to Bachelor’s-level programs of study. Choose Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) courses to fulfill general education requirements whenever possible. Visit and speak with your college advisor to learn more about IAI.

For information regarding teaching, licensure and certification requirements for the State of Illinois, please visit It is important to note that students must pass Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) test, or have 22 composite ACT score and minimum score of 6 on the Writing portion, or have a composite score of 1110 (evidence-based reading and writing + mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on writing and language for entrance into four-year College of Education institutions.

Semester-by-Semester Program Plan for Full-Time Students

All plans can be modified to fit the needs of part-time students by adding more semesters.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
ENGLISH 101 Composition 1 3
MATH 121 Math For Elementary Teachers I 1 4
Select one of the following: 3
General Psychology 1  
Cultural Anthropology 1  
LIT 130 Children's Literature 1 3
CHLD DV 120 Intro To Early Childhood Education Group Care 2,3 3
Semester 2
ENGLISH 102 Composition 1 3
EDUC 101 Introduction To Education 2 3
Humanities course (HD) 1 3
History of American People To 1865 1
or History of American People From 1865
CHLD DV 107 Health Safety And Nutrition 2,3 3
Semester 3
SPEECH 101 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 1 3
Life Sciences course 1 4
MATH 122 Math For Elementary Teachers II 2 4
CHLD DV 101 Human Growth & Development I 2,3 4
Semester 4
POL SCI 201 The National Government 1 3
Physical Sciences course 1 4
CHLD DV 149 Creative Activities For Young Children 2,3 3
CHLD DV 262 Child, Family & Community Relations 2,3 3
Fine Arts course 1 3
 Total Hours62

General Education Requirement


Pathway Elective


Requirement for Basic Certificate in Child Development: Pre-School Education

Recommended electives may vary by transfer institution. Choose your courses with your College Advisor.

Institution-specific transfer guides and agreements can be found on CCC's transfer site.