Early childhood development program offered at PDCCC

Published 9:54 am Friday, October 15, 2010

by Patsy Joyner

Paul D. Camp Community College is proud of its associate of applied science degree in early childhood development, designed to teach students about the growth and development of young children and the teaching-learning process.
Knowledge in these areas help childcare providers enhance the preschool experiences of these children. Graduates of this program also qualify for working with children up to age 12 in after-school programs, and individuals already working in the field may upgrade their skills and qualify for advancement.

Early Childhood Development
According to Martha Kello, associate professor of childhood development and reading, child development courses at PDCCC teach childcare providers how to prepare children to enter school healthy and ready to learn.
Caregivers for young children include parents, as well as teachers of preschool and childcare programs, public and private.
“Finally, our nation, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and PDCCC’s service region realize that children’s success in school and in life is dependent upon high-quality early childhood experiences from birth to 5 years of age,” Kello said. “Research over the past 20 years indicates that ‘quality’ is the key word. And while the experience can be obtained from home, public, or private child care, it must be a high-quality experience.”
She notes that research indicates that 20 percent of children entering kindergarten are not ready for school. And if they are not ready, they are more likely to need special education, less likely to finish school, more likely to have a low-paying job, or be dependent on social services, and the list goes on and on!
Also, because research shows that the quality of an early childhood program is greatly dependent on the education of the teachers, many childcare facilities and preschool programs are now requiring their employees to hold a two-year degree in child development or a related field.
Moreover, some organizations, such as Head Start, are working toward making baccalaureate degrees a requirement for their teachers. Therefore, many students are opting to continue their study of young children at four-year colleges and universities.

Sample Schedule
The following is a sample schedule for completing the 67 required minimum credits for the AAS degree in early childhood development at PDCCC.
• First year — Fall Term: Language Arts for Young Children; Introduction to Early Childhood Education; Art, Music and Movement; College Composition; Math for the Liberal Arts/Pre-Calculus; and College Success Skills for a total of 16 credits.
Spring Term: Introduction to Reading Methods; Observation & Participation in Early Childhood/Primary Settings; Guiding Behavior of Children; Child Health and Nutrition; Principles of Public Speaking; and College Composition II for a total of 18 credits.
• Second year—Fall Term:  Math, Science and Social Studies Concepts for Children; Infant & Toddler Programs; Introduction to Exceptional Children; Early Childhood Programs and Social Change; Child Psychology I; and First Aid and Safety for a total of 17 credits.
Spring Term: Models of Early Childhood Programs; Advanced Observation and Participation in Early Childhood/Primary Settings; Administration of Early Childhood Education Programs; Seminar and Projects: Portfolio; Practical Reasoning1; Sociology of the Family for a total of 16 credits.
For more details on the early childhood development program at PDCCC, call Kello at 569-6742.