Child Development

Quality early childhood education equals a better tomorrow

Young children can be fascinating people. But they need caring, well-educated professionals to guide them along their path of physical, intellectual, and social growth. Whether you want to begin working with young children, or you are a professional wishing to gain more formalized knowledge, ACC has several ways to help you reach your goals. Focused classroom instruction is matched with face-to-face interactions with children. Students can also gain field experience at our Lab School. A full-day child care center, the Lab School is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.

PLEASE NOTE: This program has special enrollment requirements, including criminal background checks and a reading and writing assessment. Admission to ACC does not guarantee entry to this program. Please review the requirements and talk to an advisor before registering.

What skills can I gain with each program and what's the difference between the certificates, the awards, and the degree?

Child development students learn the basics of caring for children and how to help them thrive. Learning how children grow and develop, how to guide their behavior, interact effectively with them, plan fun and meaningful activities, and how to work with families are cornerstones of teaching young children.

The two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Child Development combines a foundation of core academic classes with advanced instruction dedicated to working with young children. Students with no previous background in child development often prefer this program. It is not intended for students interested in pursuing a four-year degree in education or who wish to become public school teachers. Those students should refer to curriculum in the Education Instruction program.

Students who wish to enter the workforce soon or who may not be ready to pursue a degree should consider the two-semester Child Development Certificate option. All course work is dedicated to working with young children and each class transfers toward the associate degree requirements.

The Enhanced Skills Certificate in Child Development is an advanced certificate for individuals who have already earned an associate of applied science degree in child development. Its courses meet the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services requirements for child care center directors.

ACC offers two training programs to prepare for the national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Both are open to individuals already working with young children who want to fine tune their teaching techniques and acquire training hours to apply for the CDA credential. The Academic CDA Training Program requires applicants to take ACC assessments for reading and writing. Graduates receive an Institutional Certificate. The Comprehensive CDA Training Program does not require placement testing and graduates receive a Marketable Skills Award.

Students employed in the care of young children can receive the Professional Recognition for Caregivers Institutional Certificate, an award of special recognition through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

*In addition to the programs above, an extensive selection of non-academic-credit classes are offered to meet the needs and schedules of working professionals in need of continuing education hours for Texas Child care licensing requirements or the National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation program. Please visit ACC's Continuing Education department here.

Where can I work with this education?

Child Development graduates often work as classroom assistants, teachers, or directors in preschools and daycare centers.

How do I get started at ACC and where can I find out about financial aid?

Visit ACC's future student's page for admissions information. The financial aid page has links for eligibility and applications.