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A female teacher with four young children sitting close to her reading from the same book.

Child Development and Learning


$520 Enroll

Full course description

Course Description

The Child Development and Learning course focuses on birth to age 5, and it is aligned with CDA® Competency Standards and NAEYC Standards. The course will provide you with an understanding of principles of child development, including social and emotional development. You will also learn how to use the cultural resources (language, cultural traditions, heritage, knowledge) children bring to the learning community to aid in that development.


This is a fully online, asynchronous course where students work independently. While it is self-paced, this course is estimated to take ten (10) to twelve (12) weeks to complete. All course content and assignments are organized into modules, called topics. All course material and assignments are completed at your own pace and it will be up to you to stay on schedule and follow the course progression.


This is a 30-hour course (3.0 CEU) that addresses the following Council for Professional Recognition subject areas:

• Supporting children's social and emotional development

• Understanding principles of child development and learning


Course Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to gather, develop, use, and maintain strategies to:

1. Create a respectful, positive, supportive, and responsive relationship with each child to help them

• learn about and take pride in their individual and cultural identity.

• feel accepted and function effectively in the group.

• learn to communicate, and express feelings, acquire social skills, make friends and get along with others. 

• learn about empathy and mutual respect among children and adults. 

2. Provide a supportive environment and uses culturally responsive and non-racist strategies to help all children learn and practice respectful, acceptable behaviors, as individuals and as a group.

3. Provide support for children with persistent challenging behaviors.

4. Promote children’s awareness of self and the effect of their actions on others. 

5. Understand principles of child development and learning

6. Implement and practice social and emotional work and ensure that such work does not cause harm.


Course Requirements

While taking this course you will complete 4 quizzes and the following assignments. 

1. Learning Resource – Self-Concept 

2. Social/Emotional Competency Statement 

3. Positive Guidance Competency Statement 

 As a student in AU's CDA® program, you will have access to a School of Education faculty coach for feedback, conversation, and support. Your coach will grade each of your assignments and offer feedback. You may also reach out if you have questions, need assistance, or would like to engage in conversation on one of the course topics.

This course meets the Gold Standard for quality in online courses through American University's Eagle Online Excellence Program. 


Required Texts

The following texts are required for this course. Any other readings and resources are provided in Canvas under the related topic.

1. Washington, V. (Ed) (2017). CDA Essentials for Working with Young Children Second Edition. Council for Professional Recognition.

2. Washington, V. (Ed) (2019). CDA Essentials Workbook Second Edition. Council for Professional Recognition.

3. The CDA Competency Standards Book for the credential you are seeking.


Policies and Processes


The following is the refund policy for courses registered through our Professional and Lifelong Learning Portal (

Learners will be eligible for a refund (minus any non-refundable fees) if they drop a course and request a refund no later than the date the course starts as per the dates in Canvas and/or Canvas Catalog platforms. If a learner registered for a course after the start date, they will be ineligible for a refund.

Learners registered for on-demand courses without a start date will be eligible for a refund if the course is dropped and a refund is requested within 24 hours of registration and when there is no record of page views or participation in the Canvas Platform.

Refund requests will be denied if requested after a course’s start date, 24 hours after registration in the case of on-demand courses without a start date, or when there is a record of page views or participation in the canvas Platform.

Payments and fees:

For payments with credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts, the tuition cost includes a non-refundable 4% administrative fee. In case an eligible refund is requested, the net funds returned will be the tuition minus 4%. 


Notice about this Course: 

After completing this course you will receive a certificate of course completion signed by your course instructor, issued in your name, that includes the CDA subject areas covered, the number of course hours and CEU equivalency for the course, and the date of training completion. You will also receive a digital badge which will include a course description and additional information regarding the course.

Non-credit courses are not recorded in American University transcripts. No credit is earned from these courses and grades are not posted. Learners enrolled in Non-Credit courses will not receive an AU ID or have access to services and or facilities reserved for AU students. Access to the AU library system will be available to all members of the greater Washington DC area through visitor services. See the link for more information

For questions about this course, policies, or refunds you can contact Gabrielle Harris at