Office for Children - School Readiness - Institute for Early Learning (IFEL)

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
703-324-3044 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035
Betsi Closter

Institute for Early Learning - Introduction to Early Childhood Certificate Program

Introduction to Early Childhood Certificate Program

There are four courses in the Introduction to Early Childhood Certificate Program. These four courses explore developmentally appropriate approaches to early education and provide many opportunities for educators to integrate knowledge and strategies into their daily practice. By completing the four courses in the order below, early learning educators can earn a 48-hour certificate and may be eligible for three hours of Prior Learning credit for CHD120 at Northern Virginia Community College.

COURSE 1: Introduction to Early Childhood - Child Development (12 credit hours)
Explore the foundations of child development including basic milestones, patterns and variability in child development. Examine how the domains of development interconnect and recognize the predictable ways children grow and learn. Discover the biological and cultural factors that influence development and learn the powerful role adults have in promoting child development. Learn how to observe children and understand how they learn through play. CDA Areas 7, 8.
COURSE 2: Introduction to Early Childhood - Learning Environments (12 credit hours)
Explore the components of developmentally appropriate learning and best practices to support the individual needs of children. CDA Areas 1, 2, 8.
COURSE 3: Introduction to Early Childhood - Effective Interactions (12 credit hours)
Examine the power of responsive relationships and effective communication strategies to support children's social and emotional development. CDA Areas 2, 3.
COURSE 4: Introduction to Early Childhood - Family Partnerships (12 credit hours)
Explore strategies to communicate effectively with families and actively engage them in their child's ongoing learning. CDA Areas 1, 2, 3, 7, 8.

Early childhood educators who complete the 48-hour certificate program may be eligible to receive Prior Learning credit through Northern Virginia Community College. For more information about the 48-hour Introduction to Early Childhood Certificate Program, please email Institute for Early Learning at

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