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Child Care Program Development Credential/Certificate (12 credits)


The Program Development Credential focuses on program implementation in high-quality learning environments – from curriculum development to staff coaching/mentoring.

The PDC consists of a 12-credit sequence of four courses. It complements the Administrator Credential (which focuses on day-to-day operations and management) and the Leadership Credential (which focuses on effective leadership skills and dispositions, new directions and visionary change). Together, these three credentials provide early-care and education professionals at all levels with the knowledge and skills they need to develop and sustain high-caliber programs for young children.

The Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards is a framework for program quality. This four-course series uses WMELS concepts to explore the areas of child development, curriculum planning based on observation, assessment and evaluation, developmentally appropriate environments, play theory, and investigatory learning. Special attention is given to nurturing teachers and other staff to increase their competency in these areas through coaching, professional development activities and effective supervision.

Who should attend?

Directors, program directors, assistant directors

Teachers transitioning into director positions

Master and Lead teachers in supervisory roles

Those entering ECE from the business arena

Family child care providers making the transition to group centers



Introduction to Child Care (Introduction to Program Development)

Learn what it takes to work effectively in early childhood programs by exploring roles, ethics and responsibilities of program development. Understand exactly what it means to be responsible for developing and implementing a high quality program.

Child Care Programming (Observation, Assessment & Evaluation)

Discuss and apply techniques and tools for observation, assessment and evaluation of individual children, the curriculum, classrooms and staff. Systems for planning, goal setting and monitoring will provide continuous information on the quality of the program, teacher and child outcomes. (Recommended prerequisite: Child Care Program Development, Course 1)

Approaches to Adult-Child Relationships in the Child Care Setting (Staff Supervision, Coaching and Development)

Develop excellent learning environments through effective and intentional mentoring, coaching, supervision and community-building among your staff. Examine communication and conflict resolution and articulate your goals and expectations in order to turn teachers and families into advocates. (Recommended Prerequisite: Child Care Program Development, Course 1)

Analysis of Child Care Environments – Capstone (Designing Environments for Learning)

Explore a variety of designs for child care settings and understand the ways in which environments can assist or hinder children’s learning. In this final course of the series, students will combine lessons and themes from courses 1-3 in a culminating project and portfolio to integrate best practices for developing effective physical and cultural environments for their programs. (Recommended Prerequisite: Child Care Program Development, Courses 1, 2, and 3)

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PDC #1 Introduction to Child Care (Introduction to Program Development)

Tue., Sept. 8-Sun., Nov. 1 Available Online

PDC #3: Approaches to Adult-Child Relationships in the Child Care Setting (Staff Supervision, Coaching and Development)

Mon., Oct. 12-Sun., Dec. 13 (No class the week of Nov. 23) Available Online

Sat., Oct. 17-Sun., Dec. 13 (No class week of Nov. 23) Course includes Online and Face-To-Face sessions

  Dates To Be Announced  
PDC #2: Child Care Programming (Observation, Assessment & Evaluation)
PDC #4: Analysis of Child Care Environments (Designing Environments for Learning)
For more information, contact:
Miriam Malone, Outreach Specialist,, 414-227-3133


Program Development Brochure

Spring 2014 IT Brochure

Or download the pdf

Department of Educ Policy & Community Studies
For more information about earning a bachelor's degree through the Department of Educational Policy and Community Studies, call 414-229-4323, email or visit

State Licensing & NAEYC Accrediation Criteria
Child Care Educator Courses must meet state licensing requirements for child care teachers and NAEYC accrediation criteria for assistant teachers - call today for more information.