Children and Families

Program Information

Degree Type: 
Associate in Arts

Designed for students who wish to complete an associate degree with the goal of working in early childhood settings such as home care and day care centers, Head Start, the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), and public school pre-kindergarten programs. It may be used as a terminal degree or a degree transferable to universities with four-year programs in Children and Families.

HFC has an articulation agreement with Madonna University. Students completing the Associate in Arts in Children and Families degree may continue their studies at Madonna University with no loss of credit hours.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Analyze age appropriate children's literature for use in early childhood classrooms.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of effective strategies, tools, and use of hardware for teaching in the early childhood classroom, through the appropriate use of technology.
  • Use developmental knowledge and skills to create an environment that supports each child's health, physical, nutritional, and safety needs.
  • Use present knowledge of child development to create a safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate learning environment that is culturally respectful and inclusive
  • Create environments that are supportive of the child's individual characteristics and developmental needs as supported by theoretical perspectives and current research.
  • Apply knowledge about the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
  • Create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  • Use systemic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in partnership with families and other professionals to positively influence children’s development.
  • Apply knowledge of children’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive changes from birth-five to teaching.
  • Analyze age appropriate children's literature for its use in the early childhood classroom with infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
  • Evaluate books for children birth-five for criteria such as color, pictures, words, language, bias, theme, storyline, racial stereotypes, and cultural diversity.
  • Design and conduct investigations using appropriate scientific methods and techniques by developing critical thinking skills to generate answers to questions that can be investigated empirically.
  • Explain proper protocol to be followed for maintaining safety in the classroom.
  • Apply developmentally appropriate practices to teaching and learning.
  • Apply ethical guidelines and professional standards related to early childhood practices.

Degree-Specific Requirements

All students receiving an Associate Degree are required to meet Degree-Specific Requirements AND General Education Requirements. Courses listed in the Required Core and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Degree-Specific and General Education Requirements. Developmental courses (those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.

Attention: It is the student's responsibility to review the entire program form before making course selections for registration purposes. The College recommends that students meet with an advisor or counselor well in advance of registration deadlines and before making course selections.

General Education Requirements: 

The following courses are required in this program and satisfy HFC's General Education Outcomes for this program. Students who change their program will need to confirm in advance that they are completing all required courses for their specific program of study, including additional General Education courses. All Associate in Arts degrees require at least 24 General Education credits total, including at least three credit hours from each of the five areas below. For this program:

  1. Civil Society & Culture: Complete the following:

  2. Communication: Complete the following:

  3. Computer Technology: Complete this course:

  4. Critical Thinking & Information Literacy: Complete the following:

  5. Quantitative Literacy: Complete one of the following:

NOTE: For this program, General Education minimum credits: 24

Degree-Specific Requirements: 
  1. Wellness Group: Degree-Specific Requirements for Wellness are Fulfilled within the required support courses for this program.

  2. Humanities: Complete at least 2 credit hours, including any Humanities courses taken from the General Education Civil Society &Culture group, from:

    • Art (ART); Dance (DNCA); English (ENG) (except ENG-131, ENG-132, ENG-135); Humanities (HUM); Interior Design (INTR); Journalism (JOUR); Music (MUS); Philosophy (PHIL); Telecommunication (TCM); Speech Communications (SPC); Theatre (THEA), Virtual Theatricality Lab (VTL); World Languages (American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic (ARA), Chinese (CHN), French (FRE), German (GER), Italian (ITAL), Spanish (SPN)); or World Religions (WR).
  3. Complete a total of 8 Science and Mathematics credits (including any Science and Mathematics courses taken from the General Education: Quantitative Literacy group) from:

    • Astronomy (ASTR), Atmospheric Studies (ATMS), Biology (BIO), Chemistry (CHEM), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geology (GEOL), Mathematics (MATH), Physical Science (PSCI), Physics (PHYS), Science (SCI).
  4. Social Science: Degree-Specific Requirements for Social Science are fulfilled within the General Education Civil Society and Culture group.

NOTE: For this program, Degree-Specific minimum credits: 7

Elective Courses

CHD-202: Child Development CDA Portfolio/Assessment Preparation Required only for students wishing to apply for the CDA certificate. The CDA certificate is issued by the CDA Council.
Minimum Credit Hours: 
Minimum Number Of Credits To Graduate: 
65.0 (Including Options/Electives)

Program Requirements

Additional Program Requirements: 

Individuals employed in child development centers must provide evidence of a current physical exam, current TB test, and a Department of Human Services (DHS) clearance. An Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) may be required by some placement facilities.

Requirements are Subject to Change

The information represented here is for the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

Other Information

Registry / Certification / Licensure Exam Information: 

Students completing 120 clock hours in CHD classes may apply for the CDA certificate through the Council for Professional Recognition.

Year Established: 
Program Code: 


Social Science, Arts, and Fitness Division: 313-845-9625,, Fine Arts Bldg, Room: F-140
Marlene White: 313-845-6311,, Liberal Arts Building, Room: K-301A

Transfer Information

Transfer Options/Requirements: 

The College has articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to help students who want to transfer to other institutions once they have completed their studies at HFC. Articulation agreements ensure that graduates from HFC can transfer to another institution and work towards a bachelor’s degree without a loss of coursework completed at HFC. Transfer guides denote the transferability of HFC coursework toward specific degree programs at other institutions. It is important that students who intend to transfer to another institution consult the appropriate articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to ensure the transferability of the courses they take to the institution they plan to attend. Articulation agreements and transfer guides are available on the HFC Transfer Resources page. For additional resources and assistance with transferring, students are encouraged to work with HFC’s University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center (313-845-9612,, Learning Resource Center). Students enrolled in this program frequently transfer to institutions such as:

  • Madonna University
  • University of Michigan - Dearborn
  • Wayne State University
  • Eastern Michigan University
Career Opportunities: 
  • Home group care professional
  • Lead teacher
  • Teacher assistant
  • Program director
  • In-home care provider/owner