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Best 12 Associate in Child Development in 2021

August 20, 2021 | Staff Writers

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Young children are constantly learning and developing the skills needed to thrive and grow. These skills must be nourished and harnessed at an early age to give young children the best chance of success. Working with young children is a rewarding experience. Earning an Associate in Child Development is a great way to enter the workforce as a day-care instructor or working in a Head Start program. An Associate in Child Development can also transition easily into a traditional four-year degree in Early Childhood Education.

What is an Associate in Child Development?

An Associate in Child Development is a two-year degree that will give students the foundational skills needed to work with young children, usually from birth to about eight years of age. This degree focuses on the ways children learn and develop and will highlight how teachers can harness development and hone skills at an early age. This program focuses on childhood development and working with families to foster successful environments at home, giving parents the exact tools needed for childhood success.

What Are the Benefits?

Earning an Associate in Child Development allows students to make a real difference in the lives of children. Helping children and their families develop the social, emotional, and physical skills needed to succeed early in life can help set children up for long-term success. The degree will also teach students appropriate professional behavior, as well as teach students effective communication techniques. Further, this two-year degree is quick to complete, allowing students to enter the workforce immediately. Students can also easily transition to a traditional four-year college with the skills and knowledge acquired through this program.

What is the Outlook and Salary?

Entering the workforce after a two-year degree is a great way to start your career with minimal education. The job market for child development is flat or slightly down, with as few as 123 job openings projected in the near future. With a two-year degree, students can expect to earn an average of $29,000 per year. Some teachers and educators who have an Associate in Child Development can earn up to $50,000 with experience.  

We know that choosing a school is difficult. There are so many options to choose from, with each school offering a slightly different variant to the program. Further, each school comes with its pros and cons, which can be tough to weigh against one another. Luckily, we are here to help. We have put together a list of the top 12 schools to earn an Associate in Child Development to help make choosing a school more manageable. By sifting through our list of the best schools to earn an Associate in Child Development, we can help you select the school that best aligns with your current needs and future goals. 

The Best 12 Associate in Child Development

1. Bay Mills Community College — Bay Mills Township, Michigan (24 Points)

The Child Development program offered by Bay Mills Community College is offered entirely online, making it desirable for students working full time. This degree is perfect for people who want to work with children from birth to age eight. The degree helps students learn the tools to work with children successfully and with their families. This degree includes both online theoretical education and in-person and classroom learning.

The degree focuses on many aspects of child development, including emotion, cognition, physical growth, and social interaction. Students will learn how each of these fields is essential to childhood development and will learn the tools necessary to foster and grow these facets in every child they work with. Further, students will easily segue into a certificate, Bachelor’s degree, or Master’s degree in childhood education and develop the foundational skills learned in their Associate in Child Development.  

  • Tuition: $138 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Placement Exam

2. Pamlico Community College — Grantsboro, North Carolina (22 Points)

The Child Development degree offered from Pamlico Community College is a two-year degree that will help set students up for success working with young children. This degree is designed to help students learn to work with children from birth to eight years of age. The degree will focus on children’s social, nutritional, emotional, and physical needs as they grow and develop. The degree mixes theoretical practice with hands-on experience to ensure graduates from the program are well-rounded. 

Graduation with an Associate in Child Development can set students up for a range of exciting and successful careers. Graduates from the program can work at a recreational center, head start programs, child development centers, or pre-schools. This degree can also easily transition to a traditional four-year degree in early childhood education.  

  • Tuition: $269 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts

3. Shoreline Community College — Shoreline, Washington (16 Points)

Earning an Associate in Child Development from Shoreline Community College gives students the flexibility they need to attend school while still working a full-time schedule. This degree is a hybrid degree, which combines online theoretical work with real, hands-on experience in the classroom. Plus, this degree will even give you credit toward graduation if you have relevant work experience. The two-year Associate degree can also be transferred to a traditional four-year college, so students can go on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development or Early Childhood Education.  

This degree is typically a two-year degree and allows students to focus on an area of concentration that aligns with their interests and future career goals. Students can pursue an Associate in Child Development or an Associate in Special Education. Further, Shoreline Community College has several certificates that can be added to supplement your degree.  

  • Tuition: $281 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED

4. Haywood Community College — Clyde, North Carolina (15 Points)

The Associate in Child Development degree offered by Haywood Community College helps give students the knowledge and tools needed to work with children from birth to age eight. This degree will set students up to work in exciting fields such as Head Start programs, day-care centers, child development centers, or even pre-schools for private and public educational facilities. Students will learn the physical, emotional, and social needs to allow young children to grow and thrive.

Students will enjoy a mix of theoretical learning in a classroom and hands-on experience working together with children. Students will always work alongside qualified professionals and teachers to ensure they learn the best possible practices and techniques for working with children. 

  • Tuition: $363 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Placement Exam OR SAT/ACT Test Scores

4. Richmond Community College — Hamlet, North Carolina (15 Points)

Richmond Community College focuses on helping students learn the necessary tools to help both children and families. Students are encouraged to work with a diverse range of families to benefit all people in all communities. This program focuses on young children’s physical, emotional, and social needs and gives students the necessary knowledge to help develop and foster language, social, and physical success.  

The degree is a two-year program designed to help students either earn a traditional four-year degree in Early Childhood Education or prepare students to enter the workforce. Graduates from this program can work in pre-schools, Head Start centers, recreational centers, or school-age programs.  

  • Tuition: $360 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Necessary Financial Aid

6. Penn State York — York, Pennsylvania (11 Points)

Penn State York offers exciting and diverse education options for those seeking to work with young children professionally. There are several Associate level degrees available, ranging from Child Development and Education, Children, Youth and Family Services, and Adult Development. Choosing to follow the Child Development and Education path can set students up for a rewarding career working in recreational centers or Head Start programs.  

To earn an Associate in Child Development, students must complete 60 credits, usually taking two years. Students will focus on both theory and hands-on practice to learn proper care for children. This program focuses on babies, toddlers, and pre-school-aged children. The program focuses on strong communication skills between the student and families to ensure the proper tools, techniques, and educational approaches are being used at home to allow children to thrive.  

  • Tuition: $977 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Transcripts, Minimum GPA/Class Rank, SAT or ACT Test Scores

6. Great Basin College — Elko, Nevada (11 Points)

The program developed by Great Basin College is intended to give students the tools necessary to work with young children and their families and their communities. This program features several focus areas where students will receive a thorough education to help the children in their communities better. These areas include family and community relationships, interagency cooperation and referrals, cross-cultural awareness, child development, education, curriculum development and implementation, professional behavior, and child assessment.  

The main goal of this program is to get students ready to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. Students will be prepared to work in day-care centers, work in recreational centers, work as a pre-school teacher, or work as a teaching assistant for young children. 

  • Tuition: $441 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts

6. West LA College — Culver City, California (11 Points)

The Child Development program offered at West LA College focuses on the child’s experience and environment. The program’s goal is to develop the environment around young children to give them the best chance at success, allowing young children to grow and thrive. Students will learn several tools and techniques to help improve the environment surrounding children. The program will focus on physical and emotional needs and how these needs can be met with an accepting and constantly evolving society.

Students enrolled in this program will be prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. Students can look forward to exciting careers working in child development centers, pre-school teachers, or working and directing pre-school programs. This degree is a two-year program that offers several certificates that can be added to the degree to supplement a student’s education.

  • Tuition: $337 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Proof of Residency

9. Springfield Technical Community College — Springfield, Massachusetts (10 Points)

Springfield Technical Community College’s program helps students gain the necessary skills to work with children from birth to five years of age. The program will give students the CDA credentials needed to go into the workforce working alongside young children. This program focuses on early childhood education, highlighting the physical and emotional needs of children. The goal is to help students develop better educational systems to allow young children to thrive.

This program is an Associate Plus certificate program which will take about one year to complete. The program requires approximately 120 hours of education and hands-on experience working with children to graduate with this degree and certificate program. 

  • Tuition: $439 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Official College Transcripts if Transfer Student

9. Tallahassee Community College — Tallahassee, Florida (10 Points)

The Associate in Child Development degree offered from Tallahassee Community College is offered entirely online. This format makes the degree enticing for working professionals who may have trouble attending classes with a full-time work schedule. This degree is perfect for students who are new to childhood education or working in the field and simply want to supplement their existing careers with additional degrees or certificates.

The degree focuses on early childhood needs as children are at the most pivotal period to learn and expand. The degree focuses on early and young childhood education. Students who complete this degree can enter the workforce upon graduation or seamlessly transfer to a traditional four-year college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

  • Tuition: $335 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts, Placement Exam

11. Bucks County Community College — Newtown, Pennsylvania (6 Points)

Bucks County Community College offers several options for students who wish to earn an Associate in Child Development. This program can be offered as an Associate degree or as a certificate. This program also helps students who have an existing CDA certificate but simply need to renew their certification status.  

This program requires 120 credits to graduate and focuses on early education from birth to age five. Not only will this degree give students the necessary tools to work with children and their families, but it will help to teach students what it takes to work in a professional setting and exhibit professional behavior and communication. 

  • Tuition: $554 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts

12. Delta College — University Center, Michigan (5 Points)

The Associate in Child Development offered through Delta College is a comprehensive approach to learning early childhood education. The program focuses on early childhood development and allows students to learn about all aspects of childhood development. Students will learn the physical, emotional, and social aspects of childhood education.

Students who graduate from this program will be able to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. Students will be prepared to work in Head Start program, school-age programs, or work as a pre-school teacher. This degree requires theoretical and practical experience, as well as 30 hours of volunteer work. 

  • Tuition: $492 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, High School Degree or GED, Official High School Transcripts

Methodology

To put together our list of the best schools to earn an Associate in Child Development, we have used a scoring system. Schools were scored on two different metrics. The first metric used was the cost of tuition based on a per-credit basis. If a school gave their tuition as a yearly cost, the total amount was divided in half, assuming two semesters per year. Further, the tuition was then divided by 12, assuming 12 credits per semester to get a per-credit rate for the school. The university or school with the lowest tuition cost per credit received the most points and the highest-ranking on our list. 

Secondly, we used the overall enrollment size to score the above schools. If a school had a smaller total enrollment, the school received more points. It was assumed that smaller schools would offer a better student-to-teacher ratio and provide a higher quality of education. The school with the fewest students received the most points and the most favorable ranking on our list. The total points awarded for the tuition score and the enrollment score were added together, giving one total score. The school with the most amount of points was ranked the highest on our list.

If your school has been featured on our list of top schools to earn an Associate in Child Development, we would love to hear from you. We understand that information is continuously changing and being updated, and we may not have the most current information offered to students. If you notice a policy or program has changed, just let us know, and we are happy to update our site. We know that choosing a school for your degree is a big decision, so we always want to give students the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. 

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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