Early Childhood Education 1A: Introduction
Child Development: Day Care Worker Career Pathway Course Units
Unit 1: Childcare Roles & Obligations
Understanding the differing roles and responsibilities of parents and caregivers is essential for students considering a career in child care. Both parents and childcare providers provide love and nurturing and model appropriate behavior for children. Parents and caregivers work as a team, with the parent as the primary authority and the caregiver as an essential support to the parent. Caregivers have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is safe, healthy, and respectful for the children in their care.
Unit 2: A Clean, Safe & Healthy Childcare Environment
Childcare homes and facilities, regardless of size, have a responsibility to provide a clean and safe environment for children in their care. Understanding cleanliness standards and child safety is essential for all childcare providers, whether employees or owners. Appropriate hygiene in the childcare environment will reduce illness, prevent pests, and keep children healthy. Child proofing and other child-safety measures reduce risks for children in care. Together, these measures create a clean, safe, and healthy environment for both children and caregivers.
Unit 3: Food & Nutrition
Children in care typically consume a significant portion of their daily food at the childcare center or facility. Many children eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks away from home. Providing healthy, tasty meals is an essential part of caring for children, from infants through school-age kids. Good nutrition provides children with a healthy start in life that will remain with them throughout their lives.
Unit 4: Rules & Regulations
Laws regulate the standards and operation of childcare facilities. These laws cover both small and large childcare facilities and providers, including small-scale registered childcare homes, somewhat larger licensed childcare homes, and fully staffed childcare centers. Understanding the laws controlling childcare facilities is essential for any potential childcare provider.
Unit 6: Early Childhood Development
Understanding child development enables the childcare provider to maintain appropriate expectations regarding skills and behavior for children from infancy through the early school years. A thorough understanding of typical child development also allows the provider to recognize developmental delays and serve as an essential part of the care team for special needs children.
Unit 7: Special Needs & Inclusivity
It is important for early childhood professionals to understand not just typical child development but also the needs of children with disabilities. From birth to school-age, all children need affection, stimulation, attention, and care—and they all want to have fun! This is no different for children with special needs; they just often need some assistance to participate in activities happily and safely. In this unit, we’ll explore the evolution of special education as a whole, with a focus on inclusive classrooms, and walk through some of the most prominent special needs you may encounter when working as an early childhood educator.