Program Conceptual Framework: Child Development

See a graphic of the TCC Child Development Conceptual Framework (PDF)Listen that is described in detail on this page.

Our Mission

TCC Child Development Program provides quality, affordable, open access educational experiences and opportunities for students to become knowledgeable, skilled, and competent early childhood professionals. Our graduates have learned developmentally appropriate practices, applying this knowledge when they work and play with all children, embracing diversity, advancing equity, creating curriculum in safe and fun environments, respectfully guiding children, and advocating for all children and their families.

Tarrant County College's Three Goals

We are One College: Providing a consistent experience

We are Student Ready: Adjusting and providing to meet the needs of our students

We Serve the Community: Advocating for children and families, serving the needs of our community partners, helping improve child care in Tarrant County

Foundation of Our Program

  • Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) and Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM): the course manuals that give us the structure for each of our courses
  • TCC Goals and Outcomes: found in each of the courses in our degree (on our District Master Syllabi)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards: found in every course, knitted in every assignment

TCC Values Support Each of the Goals & Outcomes of Our Child Development Program

TCC Value: Student Success

  • Our students have the opportunity to earn an Associates of Applied Science in Child Development, as well as 1 or more of our stackable certificates (Standard 6):
    • Child Care Administration Certificate
    • Preschool Provider Certificate
    • After School Provider Certificate
  • We deliver relevant, research-based classes taught by qualified instructors who have experience in varied areas of child development, child care, supporting diverse families, advocating for our profession, and educating children. (Standards 1, 2, 5, 6)

TCC Value: Excellence

  • The education we provide for our students is based on the theories and work of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Maria Montessori, Eric Erikson, Urie Bronfenbrenner, Bowlby and Ainsworth, and the theories and work behind Constructivism, the High Scope approach, and the Reggio Emilia approach. This researched-based education helps students build a foundation from which to grow their knowledge and practice in early childhood education. (Standards 1, 4, 5)

TCC Value: Diversity

  • We provide practical experiences at our nationally accredited TCC Children’s Center in working with children from varied cultural backgrounds, ages, stages and to observe experienced early care educators, create quality learning opportunities, implement developmentally appropriate activities, practice guidance techniques, implement ethical behaviors. (Standards 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Our Program’s commitment to diversity is evidenced in our courses. Each of them has course goals and learning outcomes that teach our students how to apply these concepts in the learning of the course in which they are enrolled. Our students have opportunities to learn about and understand cultural groups outside of their own familiarity. (See page 6)

TCC Value: Access

  • We work with the Texas Workforce Commission and Child Care Management Services (CCMS) and providers who participate in the Texas Rising Star quality rating system by helping coordinate scholarships for the employees of these participating programs. (100% of tuition and books toward the AAS in Child Development and our certificates.)
  • We offer college credit for a valid Child Development Associate (CDA) national credential.
  • We participate with Camp Fire First Texas in their Apprenticeship Program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. We were the principle writer of an expansion grant of that program as well.
  • We promote the TEACH Early Childhood Texas Scholarship program for our students who work full-time in child care and make less than $20 per hour. This program will fund 90% of tuition and books and pay a transportation stipend each semester.
  • Our students have the opportunity to smoothly transfer to local universities. Tarleton State University, has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts and Sciences in Child and Family Studies, in which our workforce AAS degree is completely accepted into their BAAS degree. Texas Woman’s University has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development. Both of these programs have a Child Life track and well as Bachelor of Arts in Child Development for a more traditional professional pathway. Both universities offer Master’s degree in Child Development (TWU) and Child and Family Studies (TSU). Texas Woman’s University offers a doctorate in Child Development as well.

TCC Value: Innovation & Creativity

  • We teach students to create quality learning environments for children through class discussions, group activities, and interactive, hands-on learning for students to experience. (Standards 2, 4, 5)
  • We offer observation and practice in varied environments where students learn to advance the knowledge and skills of the children, to observe behaviors, practice adult-child interaction, and understand the impact of environment on children, activities, routines, and transitions. For their observation and practicum experiences, our students will work and play with toddler and preschool children and observe school age children in the early grades. They will also observe in an early Head Start or Head Start setting or a home-based setting. (Standards 1, 3, 7)

Standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs

Standard 1: Promoting Child Development & Learning

Key Elements

  1. Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8.
  2. Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning.
  3. Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.

Standard 2: Building Family & Community Relationships

Key Elements

  1. Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics.
  2. Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
  3. Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning.

Standard 3: Observing, Documenting & Assessing to Support Young Children & Families

Key Elements

  1. Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment—including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children.
  2. Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment, and data collection.
  3. Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
  4. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.

Standard 4: Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

Key Elements

  1. Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children.
  2. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology.
  3. Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches.
  4. Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.

Standard 5: Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum

Key Elements

  1. Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts-music, creative movements, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
  2. Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
  3. Using own knowledge, appropriate learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful, and challenging curriculum for each child.

Standard 6: Becoming a Professional

Key Elements

  1. Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field.
  2. Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines.
  3. Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
  4. Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education.
  5. Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.

TCC Goals & Outcomes in Our Courses

TCC Goals and Outcomes—which teach our students diversity—are found in each Child Development course that is required for our degree.

Our Program’s commitment to diversity is evidenced in our courses. Each course that is required for our degree has goals and learning outcomes that teach our students how to apply these concepts in the learning.

CDEC-1321 The Infant and Toddler

  • Emphasizing and promoting excellent prenatal care for parents of all children, noting that some groups may have limited access to prenatal care and finding ways to help overcome
  • Finding community resources when early intervention is needed.
  • Identifying social and cultural influences that impact infant/toddler care.
  • Discussing ways to include infants/toddlers with special needs into quality programs.

CDEC-1419 Child Guidance

  • Respecting guidance and families and how they guide their children and how we communicate with families.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the importance of families and culture in guiding children by discussing anti-bias curriculum goals.
  • Describing how cultural differences affect guidance; explain the role of culture in children’s interactions and responses to conflict.
  • Describing the importance of working with parents to solve guidance issues.
  • Giving examples of individualized behavior plans that classroom teachers may be given to implement with children with special needs.

CDEC-1413 Curriculum Programs for Young Children

  • Creating activities that promote inclusion of all children
  • Demonstrate an understanding of developmentally appropriate practices by characterizing how cultural and linguistic diversity are a part of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of a child-centered curriculum by discussing the application of anti-bias curriculum.
  • Developing an anti-biased, developmentally appropriate curriculum.
  • Constructing indoor and outdoor environments for all children including those with special needs.

CDEC-1356 Emergent Literacy for Young Children

  • Promoting diversity in literature: choosing both authors and illustrators of diverse backgrounds and subject matter and characters with diverse topics and ethnicities, cultures,
  • Explaining how teachers can integrate the children’s cultures into meaningful literary experiences
  • Analyzing literacy materials for bias content.
  • Giving examples of strategies for adapting literacy materials for children with special needs.
  • Analyzing cultural influences on the literacy environment.

CDEC-1358 Creative Arts for Early Childhood

  • Appreciating diversity in music, art, drama and movement (dance); those that create the art; cultures that use/emphasize the art.
  • Discussing ways that bias might influence children's behavior when participating in art, music, movement and dramatic play.
  • Adapting music, movement, visual arts and dramatic play to meet the needs of children with special needs.

CDEC-1359 Children with Special Needs

  • Examining diversity through learning about children and families’ challenges and deficiencies, both biological and environmental that can impact cognitive development, social development, emotional development, language development and physical development—and how we can serve them in quality programs.
  • Explaining how children develop an awareness of similarities and differences.
  • Describing learning experiences that promote children’s appreciation and respect for all individuals and groups.
  • Outlining the cultural implications and their impact on services to children with special needs.
  • Critiquing the history and impact of legislation affecting children with special needs.
  • Comprehending the role of advocacy for children with special needs explaining the importance of advocating on behalf of children with special needs and their families.
  • Identifying environments, equipment, materials and supplies to meet the individual needs of all children.

TECA-1354 Child Growth and Development

  • Identifying signs of developmental delays to inform parents for early intervention; recognizing the wide range of individual developmental differences and the implications of this developmental variation for instructional planning.
  • Developing acceptance and respect for individuals with diverse backgrounds and needs.

TECA-1303 Families, Schools, and Communities

  • Identifying characteristics and issues related to diverse cultures and caregiving lifestyles.
  • Analyzing ways in which factors in the home and community (e.g., Parent expectations, availability of community resources, community issues) impact learning, including an awareness of social and cultural factors to enhance development and learning.
  • Discussing needs and challenges of families caring for children with special needs.
  • Identifying and applying strategies to maintain positive, collaborative relationships with diverse families (e.g., Families with children with disabilities, poverty, single-parent, cultural, homelessness, dual-language learners).
  • Explaining the importance of family involvement/home-school relationships in education.
  • Applying knowledge of appropriate ways (including electronic communication) to work and communicate effectively with families in various situations.
  • Explaining how teachers can engage families, parents, guardians, and other legal caregivers in various aspects of the education program.
  • Examining the importance of respecting parents’ choices and goals for their children.

TECA-1318 Wellness of the Young Child

  • Describing the role of physical fitness as it contributes to healthy behavior by modifying movement activities to meet all students’ needs.
  • Analyzing principles of nutrition and the application to nutritional assessment by analyzing menu plans in childhood settings for nutrients and inclusion of cultural foods and creating nutritionally balanced meals for children and making modifications for special dietary needs.

TECA-1311 Educating Young Children

  • Describing and adhering to professional code of legal and ethical requirements for educators by explaining legal requirements for educators (e.g., those related to special education, students’ and families’ rights, student discipline, equity, and child abuse) and legal guidelines in education-related situations.
  • Applying classroom observation and assessment skills to identify developmentally appropriate programs in diverse early childhood educational settings by describing ethical issues in the observation and assessment of children.

CDEC-2386 Internship

  • Respecting individual family differences and nurturing each child’s cultural identity
  • Explaining the importance of family involvement/home-school relationships in education.
  • Applying knowledge of appropriate ways (including electronic communication) to work and communicate effectively with families in various situations.
  • Explaining how teachers can engage families, parents, guardians, and other legal caregivers in various aspects of the education program.
  • Examining the importance of respecting parents’ choices and goals for their children.



Northeast Campus

Kathleen Sikes
Program Coordinator

Call 817-515-6521


Updated January 31, 2024