The BS in Early Childhood Studies (BS ECS) offers a strong foundation in child development and early childhood education with the purpose of guiding students in creating environments that are healthy, respectful, nurturing, and challenging for all children. Aligning with the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the BS ECS courses are crafted for students already involved in early childhood settings as well as those seeking to work with and advocate for young children. Studies focus on how to intentionally draw on child development knowledge to support positive outcomes for young children. Emphasis is placed on ways to develop respectful, responsive partnerships with families and work with socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse populations of young children and families, including those with exceptionalities. Students explore the vital role of social-emotional development and positive guidance in children’s healthy development and learning. Through field experience, students gain guided practice and experience as they learn how play, creativity, and the content areas of language arts, social studies, math, and science can draw on and promote children’s curiosity, individual interests, and positive attitudes toward learning. Throughout the entire program experience, students are challenged to continuously apply reflective and critical perspectives to professional practice that promotes advocacy and positive social change for young children, their families, and the early childhood field.
Note: The BS in Early Childhood Studies is only offered in Walden’s competency-based education modality, Tempo Learning®, an alternative way of earning a Walden degree offered for some Walden programs. Instead of courses, the Walden Tempo Learning® program is comprised of competencies and rigorous assessments. Students progress through the Tempo Learning® model by successfully passing competency assessments. A student must successfully achieve or master all competency assessments to graduate from the program.
- Promote environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children (birth–8).
- Apply knowledge of child development to support positive outcomes for all children.
- Develop respectful and responsive partnerships with families and communities to support the healthy development and learning of young children.
- Differentiate practices to support a socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse population of young children and families, including those with exceptionalities.
- Apply reflective, collaborative, and critical perspectives to professional practice that promote advocacy and social change.
- 180 total quarter credits
- General education courses (45 cr.)
- Core competencies (75 cr.)
- Elective courses (55 cr.)
- Capstone competencies (5 cr.)
General Education Courses (45 cr.)
See the general education general education section of this Walden University Catalog.
Note: A minimum of 60 quarter credits must be completed at the 3000 or 4000 level in order to meet program requirements. In some cases, this means that students will need to select 3000- or 4000-level courses as either general education or elective options. Students should consult their student success advisor if they have questions about individual program requirements.
Core Competencies (75 cr.)
- HS1001 Nutrition and Young Children
Identify principles and concepts of healthy nutrition for young children.
- HS1002 Physical Health
Explain key concepts related to the physical health of young children.
- HS1003 Physical Activity
Recommend developmentally appropriate strategies for promoting healthy physical activity for young children.
- HS1004 Child Safety
Explain guidelines and procedures to ensure the safety of young children.
- HS1005 Mental Health
Explain key principles and concepts related to mental health in young children.
- HS1006 Promoting Wellness
Apply concepts related to the health and safety of young children to promote wellness in children and families.
- BP1001 Professional Roles and Responsibilities
Explain professional responsibilities, roles, and ethics that apply to the early childhood field.
- BP1002 Evolution of the Early Childhood Field
Identify historical milestones and contributions of theorists and practitioners to show understand the evolution of the early childhood field.
- BP1003 Early Childhood Organizations
Explain how key organizations and resources inform the early childhood field.
- BP1004 Issues and Trends That Inform Professional Practice
Analyze current early childhood issues and trends to inform professional practice.
- BP1005 Identity as an Early Childhood Professional
Integrate critical perspectives to inform a personal identity as an early childhood professional.
- ED1001 Child Development Concepts and Theories
Identify key concepts and theories in the field of child development.
- ED1002 Developmental Continuum: Prenatal to Birth
Explain the developmental continuum, prenatal to birth.
- ED1003 Developmental Continuum: Infants and Toddlers
Explain the developmental continuum of infants and toddlers.
- ED1004 Developmental Continuum: Preschoolers
Explain the developmental continuum of preschoolers.
- ED1005 Developmental Continuum: Ages 5–8
Explain the developmental continuum of children ages 5–8.
- ED1006 Factors Influencing Child Development
Explain factors that influence child development.
- CE2001 Legal Requirements for Children With Exceptionalities
Identify legal requirements designed to support children with exceptionalities and their families.
- CE2002 Procedural Requirements for Young Children With Exceptionalities
Identify procedural requirements for supporting children with exceptionalities and their families.
- CE2003 Characteristics of Children With Exceptionalities
Describe characteristics of children with exceptionalities.
- CE2004 Early Intervention
Explain the importance of early intervention for young children and families.
- CE2005 Special Education Services for Children With Exceptionalities Ages 3–8
Explain characteristics of special education services and perspectives of parents/families of young children with exceptionalities ages 3–8.
- CE2006 Issues and Trends
Explain issues and trends related to children with exceptionalities and their families.
- CE2007 Collaborating With Families and Other Professionals to Support Young Children
Analyze collaborative planning with the goal of supporting healthy development and learning for young children with exceptionalities.
- FR2001 Theories Essential to Understanding Child, Family, and Community Relationships
Identify human ecological, family systems, and socialization theories related to child and family development.
- FR2002 Dynamic Influences on Children in Family and Community Contexts
Analyze dynamic influences on children in family and community contexts.
- FR2003 Family Relationships
Analyze strategies for fostering caring relationships with families.
- FR2004 Family and Community Engagement
Apply strategies that foster family and community engagement in supporting the healthy development and learning of young children.
- CL3001 Culture as Context
Explain how culture provides a critical context for children’s growth and development.
- CL3002 Policies That Support Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Settings
Analyze how current policy issues and trends impact early childhood settings and the diverse populations of children and family they serve.
- CL3003 Culturally Responsive Curriculum
Apply principles of culturally responsive curriculum to promote development and learning in young children.
- CL3004 Culturally Responsive Relationships
Recommend culturally responsive practices to promote supportive and respectful partnerships with families.
- CL3005 Access, Equity, and Positive Social Change
Apply strategies to promote access, equity, and positive social change for young children, families, and early childhood professionals.
- SD3001 The Social-Emotional Developmental Continuum
Explain the social-emotional developmental continuum for young children.
- SD3002 Foundations of Positive Guidance and Responsive Relationships
Explain key concepts related to positive guidance and responsive relationships that promote healthy child development and learning.
- SD3003 Problem Solving in Early Childhood Settings
Apply positive guidance strategies to solve problems in early childhood settings.
- SD3004 Analyzing Positive Classroom Communities
Analyze positive classroom communities based on positive guidance and opportunities for healthy social-emotional development and learning.
- SD3005 Factors That Can Impact Children’s Social Emotional Development and Behavior
Explain how factors can influence children’s social emotional development and behavior.
- QP3001 Developmentally Appropriate Practice
Analyze how the National Association for the Education of Young Children “Principles of Developmentally Appropriate Practice” and effective family engagement principles inform quality programs and family partnerships.
- QP3002 Standards of Quality
Explain the types and roles of standards that guide early childhood programs.
- QP3003 Effective Program Models
Explain effective pedagogical and organizational early childhood program models.
- QP3004 Effective Teaching and Leadership Practice in Early Childhood Programs
Analyze effective teaching and leadership practices in early childhood programs.
- EL3001 Early Literacy Concepts
Explain concepts related to early literacy skills for young children.
- EL3002 Promoting Early Literacy Among Infants and Toddlers
Explain signs of emergent literacy in infants and toddlers, and strategies for enhancing emergent literacy, while promoting positive dispositions toward reading and language learning.
- EL3003 Promoting Early Literacy Among Preschoolers
Explain signs of emergent literacy in preschoolers, and strategies for enhancing emergent literacy, while promoting positive dispositions toward reading and language learning.
- EL3004 Promoting Early Literacy in K–3
Explain strategies for enhancing literacy development and positive dispositions toward reading and language learning in K–3 children.
- EL3005 Children’s Literature
Evaluate the quality of children’s literature across multiple genres and quality read-aloud experiences to promote positive dispositions toward reading and language learning in young children.
- EL3006 Technology, Early Literacy, and Young Children
Analyze issues and strategies related to appropriate use of technology to promote literacy learning in young children.
- AY3001 Assessment for Young Children
Explain key concepts related to uses of assessment and screening to support young children’s development and learning.
- AY3002 Assessment Strategies and Methods
Analyze essential assessment strategies and methods used to support young children’s development and learning.
- AY3003 Observation and Analysis
Analyze assessment processes and data to support effective planning in early childhood settings.
- AY3004 Assessment in the Classroom Context
Analyze strategies for using assessment as an ongoing practice to support learning for young children.
- AY3005 Communication and Collaboration to Support Effective Assessment
Communicate and collaborate with families and other stakeholders to promote meaningful assessment practices.
- PC4001 Key Concepts and Strategies Related to Play
Analyze concepts and strategies key to understanding the value of play and fostering play in young children.
- PC4002 Key Concepts and Strategies Related to Creativity
Analyze concepts and strategies for fostering creativity in young children.
- PC4003 Young Children and the Creative Arts
Explain key concepts related to young children and the creative arts.
- PC4004 Child-Centered Learning and Creativity
Analyze the role child-centered learning and creative teachers play in fostering children’s creative thinking, creative skills, and creative arts expression.
(This course requires 10 hours of field experience focused on developing and taking part in meaningful learning experiences for infants or toddlers in an early childhood setting.)
- DI4001 Responsive Relationships With Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families
Explain approaches and strategies that foster healthy infant and toddler development through responsive and respectful relationships with infants, toddlers, and their families.
- DI4002 The Role of Play in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers
Synthesize why fostering play is critical to healthy infant and toddler development.
- DI4003 Routines and Transitions That Foster Healthy Development for Infants and Toddlers
Evaluate effective routines and transitions in infant and toddler care and education settings.
- DI4004 Environments That Support Healthy Development and Learning for Infants and Toddlers
Evaluate infant and toddler environments that support healthy development and learning.
- DI4005 Meaningful Experiences With Infants and Toddlers
Develop respectful, supportive, and challenging experiences with infants and toddlers.
(This course requires 20 hours of field experience focused on developing and taking part in meaningful learning experiences in a P–3 classroom setting.)
- ML4001 Approaches to Meaningful Learning and Teaching
Analyze strategies, approaches, and curriculum models that support meaningful learning and teaching in P–3 classrooms.
- ML4002 Child/Family Contexts to Support Meaningful Learning and Teaching
Analyze characteristics of communities, classrooms, families, and children to support meaningful learning and teaching.
- ML4003 Knowledge of Content Areas and Meaningful Learning and Teaching
Apply knowledge of key concepts to inform planning of meaningful learning and teaching across content areas in P–3 classrooms.
- ML4004 Meaningful Learning Experiences in P–3 Settings
Apply professional knowledge to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful learning experiences that support positive outcomes for all children in P–3 settings.
- IP4001 Foundations of Inclusion
Explain foundational concepts related to high-quality inclusive early childhood programs.
- IP4002 Inclusive Practices in Early Care and Education Settings
Explain evidence-based strategies for inclusive practice to enhance the development and learning of young children.
- IP4003 Environments That Support Quality Inclusion for Young Children
Explain components and practices of high-quality inclusive environments supportive of young children’s access and participation.
- IP4004 Partnerships That Support Children in Inclusive Early Childhood Programs
Explain strategies for partnering with families and other professionals to support inclusive experiences for young children.
- IP4005 Supporting Inclusion Through Advocacy, Program Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice
Apply evidence-based policies, practices, and advocacy strategies to support high-quality inclusive programming in early childhood settings.
Electives (55 cr.)
Choose 11 courses from either general education or other Walden bachelor’s degree programs. At least one course (5 elective credits) must be at the 3000–4000 level. Elective credits should total 55 to meet the program requirements. Students may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet their elective requirements.
Capstone Competencies (5 cr.)
- PL4001 Knowledgeable, Reflective, and Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood
Analyze early childhood knowledge, perspectives, roles, and identities.
- PL4002 Effective Interviewing Techniques for Early Childhood Professionals
Evaluate skills, strategies, and early childhood knowledge relevant to effective interview performances.
- PL4003 Informed Advocacy in the Early Childhood Field
Develop research-based advocacy plans for current issues in the early childhood field to promote positive social change.
- PL4004 Professional Development
Plan for personal and professional development to support meaningful contributions to young children’s healthy development and learning.
Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.