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Program Management in Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5)


$260 Enroll

Full course description

Course Description

The Program Management in Early Childhood Education course focuses on birth to age 5, and it is aligned with CDA® Competency Standards and NAEYC Standards. The course is a an exploration of various forms of program management in early childhood settings including observation, documentation, planning, evaluation, record keeping, and community-building, all from a culturally responsive and anti-racist perspective.

This is a fully online, asynchronous course where students work independently. While it is self-paced, this course is estimated to take four (4) to six (6) 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 15-hour course (1.5 CEU) that addresses the following Council for Professional Recognition subject area:

1. Managing an effective program operation 


Course Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs in the following ways:

1. Implement educational equity through the use of frameworks such as culturally responsive teaching, abolitionist teaching, and critical literacy.

2. Engage in conversations about injustices with young children, and in so doing take responsibility for our role in raising new generations who will find joy and gratitude in diversity.

3. Implement teaching strategies to help children take action against injustices, so they can stand for humanity and against any brutal treatment of their fellow human beings.

4. Utilize ways to support young children who are homeschooling or engaged in distance learning.

5. Utilize available technology in early childhood settings in a way that recognizes the difference between technologizing one’s practice versus building on what technology affords their teaching and their students’ learning.

6. Manage a program that uses all available resources including observation, documentation, and planning to support children’s development and learning and to ensure the effective operation of the program, classroom, or group.

7. Develop competence as an organizer, planner, record keeper, communicator, and a cooperative co-worker who engages in anti-racist practices that contribute to socially just and equitable environments.


Course Requirements

While taking this course you will complete one quiz and the following assignments. 


1. Record-Keeping Forms Collection

2. State Agency Contact Information Resource

3. Annotated List of ECE Associations 

4. State Legal Requirements Information Resource

5. Purposeful Program 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.

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

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

4. 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