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Child Development Courses

Take free online child development courses to build your skills and advance your career. Learn child development and other in-demand subjects with courses from top universities and institutions around the world on edX.

What is Child Development?

Child development is typically defined as the progression by which children change and acquire knowledge, behaviors, and skills as they progress through childhood. The study of child development generally observes five specific areas: motor and physical, cognitive, social and emotional, communication, and adaptive abilities. In assessing child development, child behavior is monitored through multiple child development stages – from baby development up until adolescence. Specific developmental milestones are tracked at various stages, with close attention paid to baby milestones. Academic work in child development also seeks to determine the effects of child care, parenting traits, and early childhood education on a person’s overall development. Research in these areas is the backbone of many child development theories. There are specific credentials that can be earned for work in a child development job. For example, the Child Development Associate credential, or CDA, is a widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE). CDA certification can help advance a career in ECE. Currently, there are many opportunities to earn a CDA online. The skills required for work in Child Development include critical thinking, research, analysis, and communications. Also, as much of this work requires direct interaction with children, many employers seek a high level of emotional intelligence and a warm disposition. In addition to academic and clinical positions, this work can also prepare learners for related roles in the private sector.

Online Courses in Child Development

There are numerous opportunities online to prepare for a career in Child Development. University of Washington offers Positive Behavior Support for Young Children, which takes learners through evidence-based models that promote social-emotional development for young children. St. Margaret’s Episcopal School’s Introduction to Psychology covers child development as part of its coursework. In addition, University of Michigan offers a MicroMasters credential in Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research.

Jobs in Child Development

The job site Indeed lists more than 19,000 open positions related to Child Development. Positions include Social Worker, Child Development Specialist, Youth Development Supervisor, Behavior Analyst, and Child Development Center Director.

Explore a career in Child Development

A career in Child Development offers an opportunity to shape young minds through a deep understanding of how human beings learn and grow. Hundreds of online courses await learners with a desire to make a difference.