Early Childhood & Youth Development

Early Childhood & Youth Development

Major Description

There is a wide variety of career opportunities for working in the field of Early Childhood & Youth Development. These professions are projected to increase. All of the following outcomes require a clear MN Criminal Background Study.

Child Life Assistant A.A.S. Degree: This program delivers knowledge and skills necessary for working with children in hospitalized settings or with health care needs. Child life assistants are part of the team responsible for supporting children and families through health care experiences and helping them effectively cope by using developmental play and normalized activities in their environment. This program is available in the classroom and most courses are also available online.

Early Childhood & Youth Development A.S./A.A.S. Degree: This program prepares students for employment in a variety of early childhood and youth settings. Courses meet Minnesota Department of Human Services educational requirements for assistant teachers and teachers in a child care setting. Students learn about child development, guidance, professional relationships, nutrition, health and safety, cultural sensitivity and techniques for promoting learning in young children. This program is available in the classroom and most courses are also available online.

Early Childhood & Youth Development Diploma: This program prepares individuals who would like to work in a child care center or preschool as a lead teacher or in a family child care program. This program is available in the classroom and many courses are also available online.

Early Childhood & Youth Development Certificate: This program prepares individuals for work in a child care center or preschool as an assistant teacher or in a family child care program. This program is available in the classroom and online.

National Child Development Associate (CDA) Training Program: This certificate provides knowledge of learning environments, principles of child development and behavior, working with families, child health and safety, and professionalism. It fulfills the training requirement for the National CDA credential. This certificate is available online.

Early Childhood & Youth Development Advisor & Instructors
Serena Jones
Dawn Braa
Sharon Bergen
See yourself in the Early Childhood & Youth Development Program at DCTC!

Program Costs*

Early Childhood & Youth Development
  Early Childhood & Youth Development
A.S. Degree – 60 credits
Early Childhood & Youth Development
A.A.S. Degree – 60 credits
Child Life Assistant
A.A.S. Degree – 60 credits
Tuition $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr.
Fees $20.81/cr. $20.81/cr. $20.81/cr.
Textbooks $1,250 $1,250 $0
Supplies $450 $450 $0
Personal Property Fee $175 $100 $0
Grand Total $13,2603.60 $13,185.60 $11,385.60

*Estimated amounts based on 2014–15 tuition and fees.

  Early Childhood & Youth Development
Diploma – 33 credits
Early Childhood & Youth Development
Certificate – 17 credits
National CDA Training Program
Certificate – 12 credits
Tuition $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr.
Fees $20.81/cr. $20.81/cr. $20.81/cr.
Textbooks $750 $350 $0
Supplies $300 $175 $0
Personal Property Fee $100 $50 $0
Grand Total $7,412.08 $3,800.92 $2,277.12

*Estimated amounts based on 2014–15 tuition and fees.

Put Your Tuition on Ice!

That's right. Tuition will remain the same for the next two years, making your degree even more affordable. Learn more about the tuition freeze.

Scholarship Opportunities

Each year, Dakota County Technical College and the DCTC Foundation make more than $200,000 in scholarships available to our students. Students are encouraged to create an account and apply for scholarships online.

Work-Study & Student Worker Positions

Students looking for ways to help finance their college education can find part-time jobs on campus with various DCTC departments and programs. Deliver your completed Work-Study Application to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and search for openings at College Central Network Services. For more information, you can review Work Study Procedure.

Financial Aid

Step 1: Apply now for financial aid. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
DCTC's Federal School Code: 010402

Step 2: After receiving an official award letter from DCTC, you may apply online for a Federal Stafford Student Loan. Visit the Loans page for more information.

Financial Aid Inforgraphic
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Testimonials

Early Childhood & Youth Development
"I feel like the instructors know who I am and care about my success."
Lorelei Rein
Early Childhood & Youth Development Student

Lynn Kokal
Lynn Kokal
Child Life Associate
Children's Hospital and Clinics
"I graduated from the program feeling I had a wealth of practical knowledge…I felt prepared to succeed in my choice of career."

I was interested in exploring career options within the early childhood education field and liked the variety of programs that were offered. Many of the courses in the program would also transfer over to another college. I liked the flexibility provided by being able to choose on-campus, online and hybrid courses to fit around my family’s schedule. I appreciated the expertise and supportive mentoring of my instructors and valued their eagerness to help me succeed in gaining internships, employment, etc. The lab room that is available for students to create their curriculum materials is also fantastic!

I appreciate the fact that I graduated from the program feeling I had a wealth of practical knowledge, as well as useful materials to use ahead. I felt prepared to succeed in my choice of career. I continually drawn upon what I have learned in my role as Child Life Associate on a daily basis. Everything I learned comes naturally as I strive to meet the needs of our patients and families, which is a testament to the quality of education I received at DCTC.


Jennifer Blom
Jennifer Blom
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Owner – Jenny's Puddle Jumpers Daycare
"The education I received at DCTC helped me open my own, successful business just six months after graduating."

The Early Childhood & Youth Development teachers made the classes and the environment fun. I felt comfortable and the classes I took were some of the best I've ever taken. I enjoyed the connections and friendships I made in the classroom.

One thing people don't realize about DCTC is that everyone is so friendly. It's a very easy-going campus that makes it so you can do what you want to be doing. The education I received at DCTC helped me open my own successful business just six months after graduating.

I would tell other students thinking about the Early Childhood & Youth Development program to do it. It's a great program with awesome instructors who help you build your confidence and give you the tools and materials you need to be successful in the field. It's a great opportunity and experience to meet new people and learn skills you never knew you had. I am glad that I picked DCTC. I would do it again if I had the chance because I enjoyed the program that much!


Shauna Thilmany
Shauna Thilmany
Early Childhood & Youth Development Alum
Assistant Teacher for Pre-K
"Without attending DCTC and receiving the support, my world would be very different."

The support I received from my instructors played a crucial role in my success. Dawn and Jill continued to support me through every decision I had to make. It did not matter if it was a decision that was school related or family related. I am forever grateful for this support. When I was hired for my first employment in the field of Early Childhood, my boss knew the level of education I was receiving. This led me to a lead teacher position. When I interviewed for my second location within the field, I brought my portfolio filled with projects, lesson plans, educational ideas and my school accomplishments. All these items I presented allowed me to gain the assistant teacher position within a Head Start location. The professors always presented to the students the best manner of practice in each and every class. These best practices also have led to my success. I have recommended the school to various individuals within my field. I have always stated that the school has integrity, support, small classes and fabulous teaching standards.

See yourself in the Early Childhood & Youth Development Program at DCTC!

Employment

Early Childhood & Youth Development

Job Outlook

According to ISEEK, Minnesota's career, education and job resource, employment for in the Early Childhood & Youth Development industry is expected to grow up to 20.4 percent in the U.S. and 24.6 percent in Minnesota by the year 2020.

ISEEK on child care workers: "There is a continuing trend for parents to put their children in day care. There should be an increased demand for child care workers, especially for those who take care of infants." ISEEK on preschool teachers: "Besides the expected job growth, many preschool and kindergarten teachers will leave the occupation or retire. This will result in many more openings each year."

Acquiring a solid, industry-driven education in child behavior, developmental activities and health and safety gives DCTC early childhood & youth development students a powerful competitive advantage. More than ninety percent of our early childhood & youth development grads find employment in the field.

Graduates spend most of their day working with children and provide them basic care, opportunities to learn and help them build self-esteem. The work environment may be in a day care, school or health care setting.

Salary Data

Potential Job Titles

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Child Care Worker
  • Family Day Care Provider
  • Nanny
  • School District Paraprofessional
  • Child Life Assistant
See yourself in the Early Childhood & Youth Development Program at DCTC!

Transfer Options

Early Childhood & Youth Development

Articulation Agreements

Articulation Agreements are formal agreements between two or more colleges and universities to accept credits in transfer toward a specific academic program. DCTC has articulation agreements in place for this program with the following schools:

Transfer To Degree Major Offered  
Metropolitan State University BAS Early Childhood Studies View

Transfer Resources

TransferologyDo you want to see how your courses transfer to programs at participating colleges and universities? Add the coursework you've taken and use Transferology to find out how it might transfer to any of the participating schools in the Transferology network. Get an account and create a plan now!

 

Minnesota Transfer.orgMN Transfer.org Your official guide to a seamless transfer experience in Minnesota Higher Education.

Transferring to DCTC?

Whether you're a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or an international student or transferring from high school or a four-year university, DCTC will help you through the process. Visit our Transfer Students page for more information.

See yourself in the Early Childhood & Youth Development Program at DCTC!

News & Events

Early Childhood & Youth Development

The Early Childhood & Youth Development program at DCTC is active throughout the year and makes headlines in college publications. Read about student and alumni success as well as accomplishments of our early childhood & youth development instructors.

Early Childhood & Youth Development on Social Media

Visit Early Childhood & Youth Development on Facebook

Like us on Facebook for an inside view of the program.

Visit Early Childhood & Youth Development on Twitter

View Dawn Braa's Twitter feed, ECYD Instructor.

 

Early Childhood & Youth Development Events

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Clubs & Organizations

Early Childhood & Youth Development

As a student in DCTC's Early Childhood and Youth Development program, you have many opportunities to make connections in the child care industry through your involvement in professional clubs and organizations.

Professional Organizations

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Child Care Association (NCCA)
National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE)
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
National Center for Early Development & Learning (NCEDL)
National Head Start Association (NHSA)
Child Care Aware-MN

Student Clubs and Organizations

DCTC features active, industry-relevant clubs for Early Childhood and Youth Development students right on campus. Getting involved in these clubs allows you to make the most of your college experience and gives you an edge when seeking employment in the interior design field. The following clubs are open to all ECYD students:

Early Childhood and Youth Development Club
The Early Childhood and Youth Development student club "Cares for Kids." This club serves students by building connections and resources between ECYD students while also providing information to DCTC students regarding children and quality early childhood programs. The ECYD club will offer volunteer opportunities for serving DCTC's local communities.
Membership is open to all currently enrolled DCTC students. Students in the Early Childhood and Youth Development and/or Child Life Assistant programs are highly encouraged to participate in the club.

SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA is a national non-profit organization for students at community and technical colleges across the U.S. The organization focuses on students in academic programs that lead to careers in the trade, industrial, technical and health care fields. Nearly 100 SkillsUSA competitions at the state and national levels relate to leadership skills or programs of study at DCTC.

In 2012, DCTC fielded four national champions at the SkillsUSA National Championships at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. For more information about the competition, read "Students Dominate SkillsUSA Championships" in Real Magazine, a DCTC publication.

For a complete list of extra curricular opportunities at DCTC, visit our Campus Life page.