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Early Childhood Development

  • children study with teacher
  • young girl painting
  • children playing with bubbles

The Early Childhood Development Program is designed for individuals who seek employment involving the care and education of young children, or for those persons presently employed in these situations who wish to update and enhance their competencies. Occupational opportunities include program leaders, supervisors and/or directors in child development programs.

Dr. Kathleen Ludlow, Early Childhood Development Program Head at the Manassas Campus, provides academic advising to individuals who are interested enrolling in this program.


Career Studies Certificates

Infant and Toddler Care Certificate (16 credits)
Early Childhood Career Studies Certificate (16 credits)

Associate in Applied Science Degrees

Associates in Applied Science Early Childhood Development (67-68 credits)

Associate in Science Degree

Teacher Education Specialization (63 credits)

Early Childhood Transfer to Colleges and Universities

Bachelor of Individualized Studies Early Childhood Concentration at George Mason University

Information to Apply Online

Future Student Information
CHD/EDU Syllabi

Course Descriptions
Admissions Information

How do students "Start Strong" at Northern Virginia Community College? 
"Start Strong" - Admissions, Placement Tests, Register for a Class

Where can I find directions and campus maps for each NOVA location?
Directions & Campus Maps

Scholarship Information
(CDA) Information

Child Development Associate (CDA) Information

National Credentialing Program 
Child Development Associate (CDA)

What is a Child Development Associate?

By definition, a CDA is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and has been awarded the CDA Credential through the National Credentialing Program. Through the assessment process, the CDA has demonstrated competence in her/his ability to meet the specific needs of children, and works with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth in a child development framework. Credential award decisions are based on the Candidate's ability to demonstrate competence during the assessment process. Credentials are not awarded solely for the successful completion of training.

How can I get more information?

First, explore all aspects of the National Council for Professional Recognition website. Phone: 800.424.3575

Second, contact the Early Childhood Education Program Head at NOVA -- Email: Professor Kathleen Ludlow to schedule 
an appointment.

Which three courses should I register for at NOVA to earn the120 professional training hours needed to earn my Child Development Associate (CDA) from the National Credentialing Program?

Complete one the following courses:

  • If you want to take a college class that teaches you how to create your CDA portfolio, you should take CHD 167 CDA Theories and Applications: Portfolio
  • If you plan to work with a CDA advisor who will provide you with instructions on how to create your CDA portfolio outside of a college class, then you should select CHD120 Introduction to Early Childhood Education.
  • If you need a CDA advisor, please contact Professor Ludlow at kludlow@nvcc.edu.

Complete one of the following courses that interests you:

  • CHD 118 Language Arts for Young Children
  • CHD 145 Art, Music and Movement for Young Children
  • CHD 146 Math, Science and Social Studies for Young Children

Complete one of the following courses that interests you:

  • EDU 235 Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • CHD 205 Guiding the Behavior of Young Children
  • CHD 270 Administration of Childcare Programs
VDSS Endorsement

VDSS Early Childhood Endorsement

In order to receive ENDORSEMENT recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Social Services for each of these college classes (CHD120, CHD166, CHD145 and EDU235), please print out page 12 in the program brochure and follow the directions to complete the application.


Meet Our Adjuncts

Lucy Amos
Experienced early childhood educator and trainer. Amos brings a global perspective to the early childhood classroom. Amos enjoys spending time with her family and early childhood advocacy.

Dr. Rosemary Burton
Long time adjunct professor of early childhood education at NOVA. Dr. Burton is instrumental in preparing child care providers to work in the field of early childhood education. Dr. Burton enjoys ballroom dancing and working with early childhood committees for the betterment of this field.

Deborah Donovan
Experienced licensed public teacher. Donovan begins a wealth of knowledge, talent and interest in early childhood education to the classroom. Donovan enjoys spending time with her family and teaching at NOVA in the early childhood programs.

Amy Josephson
Knowledgeable early childhood educator who enjoys rich hands-on learning experiences. Josephson enjoys spending time with her family and planning early childhood activities.

Kristal Menchaca
Highly experienced educator at both the community college and university levels. Menchaca is particularly knowledgeable in the areas of infant and child development, behavior guidance, and health/safety of young children. Menchaca enjoys spending time with her family and child advocacy.

Deborah Stepien
Knowledgeable early childhood professional with 28+ years of experience working with young children and families in a variety of settings. Stepien is a highly skilled child development and Child Find specialist, assessor, child advocate and licensed teacher. Stepien enjoys volunteer work and travel.

Professional Resources
Contact Us

NOVA offers a variety of professional development opportunities for those working with or preparing to work with young children. I recommend that you email me in order to arrange for an academic advising appointment, which can help you select the most appropriate educational track for both your short and long-term career goals.

Please explore all aspects of this website, and email me with any further questions.

I am here to help you learn how to make a plan to earn a career studies certificate or degree in the teaching profession. Let me show you how to fit your dream into your busy schedule!

Dr. Kathleen Ludlow