"The world of early childhood is not as simple and easy as it may appear. You are responsible for the future of our children who are, in turn, responsible for our future. You must be committed to and advocate for children and families," says Lake Michigan College instructor Leslie Krouk.
Early Childhood Education classes are hands-on, group driven courses. These classes will teach you how to prepare lesson plans, develop your creative side, recognize current children's issues and social development skills. Course work will also include effective discipline styles and how to adapt to multiple on-site situations.
Classes will emphasize the importance of tolerance and understanding. As a childcare provider you will be working with a diverse population. There will be varying educational and social abilities in every child. Clear communication skills will be addressed so you can confidentially talk to parents, administration, as well as young children.
"I expect my students to remain open and flexible to change, and stretch beyond what may be comfortable," states Krouk. "All the book knowledge in the world will not make you effective when working with children. It is imperative that students are willing to share, be respectful and accepting of others."
Technology in the Classroom
A variety of technologies are used in conjunction with traditional lecture and hands-on activities. PowerPoint presentations, the Internet and materials available on Canvas - the College's instructional Intranet - play an important role in the class.
Child Development Associate (CDA) Option
If you are interested in earning you CDA, you must complete the Early Childhood Education classes ELCH 110, ELCH 111 and ELCH 112, which equals the necessary 120 hours. You must select an emphasis area (infant/toddler or preschool), and request a CDA packet by mailing $17.75 (for each packet) as quickly as possible to:
The Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition
2460 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20009-3575
Getting the Most from the Program
By working with your advisor, you can make sure you are on track and if necessary, your plan can be revised to adjust for any circumstances that may change your available time to complete the program.
"I encourage students to observe at many different child care centers for comparison and analysis purposes. There are many different techniques and environments for children. Students need to be well versed in the art of observation in order to know what is truly appropriate, respectful and safe," says Krouk.
Note: This program does not lead to certification in Elementary Education.