Child Development and Education

Teacher reading to children


The Child Development and Education Department offers pathways for students considering work with children prenatally through age 18 and their families  in diverse settings. Coursework focuses on examining theory and applying it to practice to support learning and development outcomes that are educationally, developmentally and culturally appropriate.

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.

Single Subject and Multiple Subject Credentials

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.

Explore all the other links for more helpful information.

Congratulations to our 2018-2019 Graduates!!  You earned 50 Associate of Science Degrees and 85 Certificates!


Please Join CDE for their Spring 2020 Conference: The Stories Behind Behavior- Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom on Saturday, March 28th, 2020

To Register, visit:


Other ways to stay connected:

"Like" our Saddleback Teaching Pathways Facebook page. Check it for information on current events, links to article and job postings!

Follow us on Instagram @scteachingpathways 

Choosing Courses:

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.

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

             *Take CDE 121 last, after all other courses have been completed.

Why Choose Saddleback?

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

Classroom teacher with childrenStudents 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.

Saddleback Colleges Associate of Science Degrees are Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

The mission of the accreditation system is to set a standard of excellence for early childhood degree programs and to recognize programs that have demonstrated they meet this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families, and communities. NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation involves an in-depth review of early childhood higher education programs, beginning with submission of an application to confirm eligibility. Eligible programs engage in self-study by working with stakeholders to reflect on the program's strengths and areas for improvement, collect data, and implement changes. Programs host a team of peer reviewers for a three-day site visit, and findings are shared with the Commission, the decision-making body that makes the final accreditation decision. Accreditation occurs in a seven-year cycle, with programs submitting annual reports to maintain accreditation.

Visit the Higher Education Accreditation Website for More Information

Review the CDE Departments most recent data here

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. Most are offered every year.  Students may choose to use all online, all on campus, or a mixture of each to complete their certificate or degree 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 Canvas 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. Log on to your Canvas course thorough the tab at the top of the Saddleback homepage.

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

All courses use the Canvas 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.

Also, "like" our Saddleback Teaching Pathways facebook page.  We post jobs and other information there.