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The purpose of this course is to explore the value of school, family, and
community partnerships for the education and development of the young
child. Family diff erences in terms of social, cultural, religious, and economic
backgrounds are explored, along with the diff erent approaches to
parenting taken by families. Ways to establish collaboration among schools, families, and communities across diff erences is examined, as a means for building and maintaining partnerships necessary to teach and care for the young child.

This course provides an overview of the field of early childhood education. The course addresses the historical and theoretical bases for early childhood education, as well as the influence of standards-based instruction and assessment on current program practices. Students will have the opportunity to explore characteristics of the scope of early childhood programs (i.e., infant and toddler through early elementary age), and the programs and practices appropriate for each level. The importance of working with children and families from diverse backgrounds will also be addressed. The course facilitates initial professional development through initiation of an early childhood education program portfolio, and observation of professionals in the field. 

Students are encouraged to pursue a 24 hour field experience as they pursue their studies for the course. 


This course provides an overview of the field of how to adapt early childhood curricula for children with special needs. The course addresses educating young children with special needs, partnership with families, developing individualized intervention plans and programs and monitoring progress, designing instructional programs, considerations for teaching children with specific disabilities, promoting emotional and social development, helping young children develop motor and self-help skills, nurturing communication skills, encouraging the development of cognitive skills and literacy, and teaming: collaboration, problem solving, and consultation,


This course examines issues related to nutrition, health and safety for children from toddlerhood through the school-age years. This class looks at the role of nutrition in child development, and how it relates to teaching strategies. In this course we begin by understanding various aspects of nutrition, and the importance of good nutrition to proper learning and development. We also consider various strategies for teaching nutrition to young children. Next, the role of menu planning in nutrition education is discussed, as well as food safety concerns that are important for all teachers and school employees to understand.  The course goes on to look at the role of general wellness in child development, considering health assessments in school and looking at various physical, emotional and mental disorders that children can exhibit. Attention is paid to understanding the special needs of children with various food requirements or other disorders, as well as the importance of maintaining a safe physical environment for children at all times. Finally, the course concludes by discussing abuse and neglect in childhood, looking at ways that teachers can help to identify and report such issues.


This course explores assessment as an ongoing and systematic process for collecting information in order to evaluate the development and make decisions to address the needs of the young child in a variety of childcare and learning environments. Students will learn how to select appropriate assessment tools and processes, given the purposes for assessment, age of child, and the context for caring for and teaching infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school age children. Consideration will be given to appropriate practices in selecting and evaluating a variety of formal and informal assessments, as well as processes for organizing, analyzing, interpreting and sharing assessment information with appropriate individuals.

This course provides an in-depth understanding of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children, birth through age eight. An exploration of the family and sociocultural influences on development will be explored, as well as methods to observe and evaluate children’s development. Students will learn the range of factors that influence young children’s learning, health, and well-being.  Students are encouraged to pursue an 18 hour field experience as they pursue their studies for the course.