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Child Development

  • Available as major (B.S. degree)
    Our children are our future. When you work closely with young children, you enrich not only their lives, but also the lives of those who love them.

  • This major provides a holistic approach to child studies for those who want to work with children outside of the classroom. Learn how children’s bodies, emotions, social skills and intelligence develop.

    Plan and design activities for young children, including small-group and one-on-one activities that are age-appropriate and fun. Help them develop the skills they need to do well in their future education.

    Learn ways to keep children healthy with nutritious meals and snacks; good eating habits; personal hygiene; and times for rest. Help with early identification of emotional or developmental problems.

    Prepare to work closely with young children in many settings, including schools, businesses, private households, day care centers, camps, hospitals or adoption agencies.

    Develop effective ways to work with families by learning about parent-child relationships and parenting methods.

    At Olivet, you can: 

    • Learn CPR and first aid.
    • Earn your Food and Safety sanitation license.
    • Study child, family and community relations; parenting; sociology of the family; language development; and teaching diverse populations.
    • Complete an internship or field placement assignment before you graduate in settings such as approved child care or day care facilities, children's museums, community centers, camps or hospitals.
    • Prepare to manage a day care center.
    • And so much more!
    Olivet's program is approved as an entitled institution by Gateways to Opportunity, Illinois Professional Development System. The following credentials have been granted through 2018: ECE Credential Level 5; Infant Toddler Credential Level 4. This gives our students the opportunity to qualify for these credentials as they take courses or complete a degree. Olivet is among a select group of institutions to receive these credentials. Find more information here.
    After graduation, you may want to:
    • Enter graduate school and study social work, child counseling or child psychology.
    • Continue on the path to becoming a certified Child Life Specialist, working with children and families in a hospital setting. 
    • Continue on the path for obtaining credentials in Developmental Therapy.
    • Pursue certification as a day care/preschool director.

    If you are looking for a broader career emphasis, consider advocating for children and families in state, local and national arenas. Help develop public policy issues relating to children.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Teamwork is an important part of your education at Olivet. Team projects have included:  

    • Planning and hosting a shower for the local Crisis Pregnancy Center
    • Preparing art therapy kits for local hospitals
    • Sponsoring Parents’ Night Out for area residents

    Our students have completed internships with a variety of local and national organizations, including: March of Dimes, Waolani Judd Nazarene School, Provena Child Care, Partners in Parenting, The Goddard School.


    If you enjoy working with and serving young children by:  

    • Nurturing
    • Teaching
    • Disciplining
    • Caring for their physical, emotional, nutritional and educational needs
    • Working closely with their parents

    then a child development degree may be just what you’re looking for!

    This degree prepares you to see employment in a variety of areas. Right now, employment in this field is growing.

    Possible careers include: Child life specialist, child care worker, case worker, developmental therapist, day care center director

    Child Development is part of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences within the School of Professional Studies. 

  • Child Development Right Image
  • Prepare for a career mentoring children in any number of settings, including schools, businesses, private households, day care centers, camps, hospitals or adoption agencies.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Catherine Anstrom

    Debra Kimberlin

    Complete list of faculty