​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

In CMU’s early childhood development and learning program, you’ll explore crucial development and learning strategies that prepare children — from infants through second grade — for lifelong success. Through structured studies that meet the training guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, you’ll be positioned for careers in early childhood settings, including Head Start programs, preschools and child care centers. You’ll also observe and participate in CMU’s renowned Child Development and Learning Laboratory, an on-campus preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds.​​

Put Your Degree to Work

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Preschool/childcare center director$43,950 per year17% (10,900 more jobs)
Social worker$44,200 per year19% (114,100 more jobs)
Psychologist$69,280 per year12% (18,700 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the early childhood development website or contact:

Department of Human Environmental Studies
EHS Building 228
Email: hevdept@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3218

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Early Childhood Development and Learning Major

This major is available on main campus and via CMU Online. Early Childhood Development and Learning is a field of study that examines the growth and development of children birth through age eight, within the context of teaching and working with children in educational and social settings. The courses in this major meet the course work requirements for early childhood education and preschool teaching by the Michigan Department of Education and the training guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), providing students with education, training, and skills to work with children and families from diverse backgrounds. This major is especially appropriate for students who plan on working in non-elementary school early childhood settings such as child care centers, preschools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Students interested in the teaching of young children within the elementary school setting should refer to the Early Childhood Development and Learning major on the B.S. in Education degree.
Total: 43 semester hours
Required Courses
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
EDU 280
Education of Children
HDF 100
Lifespan Development
PSY 220
Developmental Psychology
Development and Family Courses
(15 hours)
HDF 301
Infant Toddler Practicum Experience
HDF 302
Infant and Toddler Development
HDF 303
Early Childhood Development
HDF 309
Families, Schools, and Communities
HDF 400
Developmental Assessment of Children
Learning Courses
(14 hours)
HDF 200
Constructivism as a Tool for Learning
HDF 402
Guidance for Young Children
HDF 403
Best Practices in Early Childhood Settings
HDF 508
Early Childhood Program Administration and Leadership
SPE 585
Early Childhood Special Education
Trends & International Applications Courses
(3 hours)
Select one of the following in consultation with advisor:
CSD 230
Introduction to Speech, Language, and Hearing Disabilities/Differences in Society
FNS 378
Maternal and Infant Nutrition
HDF 213/WGS 213
Introduction to Human Sexuality
HDF 308
Theories of Child and Adolescent Development
HDF 320
HDFS International Service Learning
HDF 321
International Reggio-Inspired Early Childhood Learning
HDF 397
Special Topics in Human Development & Family Studies
HDF 490
Independent Study in Human Development & Family Studies
HDF 497
Special Topics in Human Development & Family Studies
HDF 510
Child Development Seminar: Promoting Resilience
HDF 597
Special Topics in Human Development & Family Studies
(8 hours)
HDF 409
Lead Teaching in Early Childhood