Child Development and Education



The Child Development and Education Department offers two pathways for students considering work with children in diverse care and education settings. Coursework focuses on examining theory and applying it to practice to support learning outcomes that are educationally, developmentally and culturally appropriate.

  • Child Development programs focus on effective strategies for working with children ages 0-5, and their families. 
  • Education pathway offers coursework designed to introduce students to the field of teaching grades K-12.  The coursework offered may satisfy the pre-requisites to credential programs at 4 year universities.

Certificates, degrees, and courses in the CDE Department are aligned with state requirements, prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions, and provide professional development opportunities.

For specific information on each of our certificates and degrees, click on the red links to the right.  For information on Single Subject and Multiple Subject credentials and the pathways to reach them, click on the link entitled "Education" on the right side of this page.

To find out how you can receive tuition reimbursement or get a book loan for the semester, click on the link labeled "Special Benefits for Majors".

Explore all the other links for more helpful information.


Save the date!   Our annual conference will be on April 22.  The topic: Teaching Math and Science.   Plan for hands-on experiences as well as lots of resources to use in your classroom.  Registration materials will be out in February!

Getting Started

There are many paths to becoming an Early Childhood Teacher. The following courses are the core of all our certificates and it is recommended to take the four bolded type courses listed first.  To decide on a specific focus, explore the certificate and degree options and then contact one of our full time faculty to make your career plan.  Qualifications differ depending on the type of program you want to work in.

  • CD 7 - Child Growth and Development
  • CD 15 - Child, Family and Community
  • CD 101 - Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
  • CD 110 - Introduction to Curriculum
  • CD 111 -Child Guidance and Communication
  • CD 112 - Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • CD 117 -Teaching in a Diverse Society
  • CD 120 - Observation and Assessment
  • CD 121 - Practicum: The Student Teaching Experience (Last course)

Why Choose Saddleback?

Saddleback child development courses are offered on campus as well as online and there are morning, afternoon, evening and weekend courses.

webphoto5.jpgStudents have many opportunities to apply their learning in our exceptional early childhood lab school as well as in the classrooms of our local California mentor teachers.

The foundational skills and abilities provide a solid base upon which specialized and advanced studies can be built. Successful completion of our child development courses enables students to qualify for a state of California Child Development Permit and along with CSU or IGETC pattern general education courses prepares students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs.

As result of coordination with many state agencies, our program is designed to streamline the process for students pursuing child development certificates, degrees, transfers and state certifications.

Our core courses are aligned with the California Community College Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project. The common course names and content in the "Lower Division 8" utilized by early childhood faculty across the state facilitate transfer for students to and between other two and four year colleges.

Classes are offered both online and on campus

Our on campus classes are offered in the morning, afternoon,  evening and sometimes on weekends.  In addition, Saddleback Child Development Department is proud to offer almost all our courses online, which has been helpful for many people who work full time or who live in areas where they cannot easily access community college.

Our online courses are designed to allow students to make the most of their time without sacrificing quality education.

All Child Development courses are offered within every two year period. Students may choose to use all online, all on campus, or a mixture of each to complete their certificate requirements.

Applying what is learned to real life settings is an integral part of our program and our online child development courses do involve child observations in a variety of activities so online students must be prepared to find early childhood settings near them to visit regularly during the duration of their courses.

How Online Classes Work

Instead of attending lectures on campus, online students attend "virtual" classrooms via the Internet.

Saddleback Child Development instructors use the Blackboard course development system that allows the instructor to post assignments, syllabi, and course outlines. In addition, the applications allow the use of several communication tools such as discussion boards, chat rooms and email.

Learning materials vary from class to class, but may include textbooks, video demonstrations, Power Point presentations, interactive lessons, and Web resources.

Learning activities may include writing papers, posting comments or essays to online discussion forums, completing individual or group projects, visiting children's settings for observations or participation and taking quizzes.

While students can often choose when and where they work, there are usually deadlines for homework and exams.

Students interact with their instructor and classmates via web discussion forums, e-mail, chat sessions, and phone calls.

How to get started:

Students apply for online and on campus courses in the same way they do for on campus courses. The difference in registration is only the ticket number.

All courses use the Blackboard course delivery system.

For more information about individual courses, contact the current instructor of the course.
Check the current schedule.

Looking for work?

View jobs that are posted on the Gaucho Job Board that request coursework in Child Development. The site will be updated as more jobs are posted so continue to check back.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Statements

Federal regulations require higher education institutions to disclose information regarding the success of its students in certificate programs that lead to employment.

The information includes graduation rates, estimated education costs, median debt of students who completed programs, and other information designed to help students make better-informed choices about colleges and universities they select.

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