Program Description

The Child Development Program at Merced College includes degree, transfer and certificate programs. Students may earn an A.A. Degree in Child Development (formerly Early Childhood Education), or may earn Child Development Certificates of Training for Child Development Permits from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, or may work on transferring to Baccalaureate Programs at four-year universities.


Merced College offers the following degrees/certificates in Child Development:

  • Early Childhood Education (AS-T)
  • Child Development (AA)
  • Child Development: Early Intervention Assistant Specialization (CT)
  • Child Development: Families In Crisis Specialization (CT)
  • Child Development: Infant/Toddler Care Specialization (CT)
  • Child Development: School Age Care Specialization (CT)

See Degree Requirements & Course Descriptions

Career Opportunities

With a degree in Child Development, there are many job opportunities for working with children and their families. Preschool Aide/Assistant or Teacher, Child Care Center Teacher, Camp Counselor, Family Service Worker, Director and Center Owner are a few of the jobs available.

About Child Development Certificates of Training

A Merced College Child Development Certificate may be used when applying for a Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which offers Permits that authorize teaching in State and Federal Preschool Programs. The Commission requires an additional verification of teaching experience as noted for each certificate below. In private preschool programs a “Teacher Permit” from the Commission in not required. A transcript is all that you need. A grade of “C” or better is required for each course in all Certificates of Training.

  • Associate Teacher Certificate of Training = 12 units
  • Teacher Certificate of Training, Option 1 = 40 units
  • Teacher Certificate of Training, Option 2 = A.A. degree
  • Master Teacher Certificate of Training = Teacher Certificate, Option 1 or 2 and 2 units of adult supervision, plus 6 specialization units.
  • Site Supervisor Certificate of Training = Teacher Option 2 (60 units) and 2 units of adult supervision, plus 6 administration units.

Contact Information

For information regarding the Child Development Program or registration, call (209) 386-6636 or visit the Lesher Student Services Center to speak with a counselor.

Child Development Faculty

Name Position Email
Kirsty Brace Professor of Child Development
Stacey McCarrick Professor of Child Development
Marvin Patton Professor of Child Development
Libby Soria Professor of Child Development/Faculty Lead/Coordinator