The Children and Families Program is a four-year degree designed for students who wish to serve young children and their families.

This program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in childcare centers, Head Start centers, teaching and administration in programs for children from ages birth to five years old, or in agencies that advocate and serve young children and their families. The Children and Families Program is a Bachelor of General Studies Degree (B.G.S.). It is an early childhood program without teaching certification.

The 2 + 2 Children and Families Program is designed to combine selected two-year community college associate degree programs with two years of advanced coursework at UM-Dearborn. The associate degrees eligible for this program are covered by articulation agreements between the community college and the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, or are accepted with permission of the Children and Families Program adviser.

    • Knowledge and understanding of child development—physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and aesthetically—with special emphasis on the period from birth to five years old
    • Knowledge and understanding of children and families in socio-economic, and cultural context –promote anti-bias and critical thinking skills regarding prejudice
    • Knowledge and skills to understand the principles of an effective early childhood classroom
    • Opportunities to achieve competence in early childhood education as a profession
  • To complete the program, students must have a 2.5 GPA overall, 2.5 in Child Studies (Area I), 2.5 in Behavioral Studies (Area II), and at least a 2.0 in the Elective area (Area III).

    A total of 120 credit hours are required to graduate.

  • The early childhood programs are guided by the philosophy, objectives and standards promulgated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as well as those positions taken by the National Association of Early Childhood Educators (NAECTE) and the Standards of Quality for PreKindergarten through Second Grades and other State Department of Education guidelines.

    The basic approach of the curriculum design for the ECE program is based on the view, consistent with NAEYC and the State Department of Education, that programs for young children must be developmentally appropriate taking into account the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children while respecting the needs of families with diverse sociocultural backgrounds.

    The ECE program is designed to provide graduates with a strong background in child development, family and societal studies, and the pedagogical knowledge and skills, which will enable them to plan and implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum, that is consistent with the most current thinking in early childhood education.

    An essential component of the ECE program is field experience at the UM-Dearborn Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC), the NAEYC accredited on campus education and childcare center for children ages one year through kindergarten. The UM-Dearborn teacher education program and the ECEC share the same philosophy and goals, that is, the preparation of high quality teachers and high quality educational experiences for young children.

    Both programs share a constructivist education philosophy based on the legacy of Piaget, Dewey and Vygotsky. This constructivist philosophy of the ECE program is consistent with CEHHS' “Teaching for Understanding” model. In addition, the ECEC and the teacher preparation program are nationally recognized for implementing the principles of the Reggio Emilia program, an innovative approach to the education of young children.