What are the professional organizations for people in Child Development?

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DegreeQuery has posted other articles on the topic of child development and childhood education. Academically, the two terms overlap one another, because many college programs at the undergraduate and graduate level consist of courses in both fields. There is also a range of degree titles for students interested in a career in early childhood development or education.

For example, the University of Washington offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education. Some of the courses are Child Development, Family Influences on the Child, Childhood Education, Positive Behavior Support, and Child Observation & Assessment.

Fresno Pacific University, which has four California campuses, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development. Their program includes classes in development and education. A sampling of these is:

  • Advanced Child Growth and Development
  • Children’s Play and Learning Theory
  • Guidance in Social and Emotional Behaviors
  • Curriculum Development for Early Childhood Education

Numerous programs in childhood development and education contain a blend of both subjects. For this reason, we will explore organizations applicable to the two fields of study.

DegreeQuery.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The NAEYC promotes a high standard of early childhood learning from birth through age eight. This organization of professionals conducts seminars, conferences, encourages volunteers, provides online communities, and awards accreditation to degree programs from Associate to a Master’s.

Membership is open to teachers, childhood care/development directors, students, administrators, researchers, and family members. There are four levels of membership with Premium affording the most benefits.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

Since 1982, the NAFCC has championed high-quality early childhood education throughout the United States. The approximately eleven million children in daycare centers generate the demand for supportive and nurturing childcare and learning facilities. The need extends to the family environment as well.

Individuals involved in childcare may apply for NAFCC accreditation. Some of the eligibility requirements include at least a high school diploma, have at least 12 months of experience as a family childcare provider, and have a current CPR certification.

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

For over 40 years, the NBCDI has been a strong advocate for policymakers, professionals, administrators, and parents for issues that affect black children and their families. The Institute focuses on addressing the needs of African-American children regarding early childhood education, health, welfare, literacy, and family empowerment. One of their missions centers on efforts to prepare and retain a competent workforce for early learning and development.

Membership is available to students, professionals, and organizations (7+ people). Members expand their knowledge by professional development resources, including an annual conference, training sessions, and research-based curricula.

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

The NHSA stated in 1965, as Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program by a government agency. It became the NHSA in 1975. Today, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of all children in life. Over their history, they have created the opportunity for over 32 million low-income children and their families to overcome dire circumstances.

Membership has four categories: Individual, Affiliate, Associate, and Program. All of these provide a voice for the advocacy of programs that will enhance at-risk children and their families.

HighScope Educational Research Foundation (HighScope)

In 1962, the innovative Perry Preschool Project began in Ypsilanti, Michigan with Dr. David Weikart at the helm. In 1970, Dr. Weikart established the current research foundation.

Through their organization partners, namely educational institutions and philanthropic entities, they offer consulting services to local, state, and national agencies — this work results in the evaluation of early childhood learning systems.

HighScope provides resources to enhance your teaching practices and childhood development activities through a free membership. You will have access to their Journal for Early Educators as well as a community of professionals involved in early learning.

Childhood Education International (CEI)

The organization collaborates with non-profit organizations, international non-governmental organizations, universities, foundations, governments, and other groups. Their mission is to provide a quality learning environment for children. They operate under the premise that early childhood education translates to a better society. Words paraphrased from Maria Montessori, physician and psychiatrist who began to research childhood development in 1900.

CE International believes in the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of young children. The belief merits the highest prioritization by all levels of government, organizations, communities, families, and individuals.

Membership grants you access to two publications: Childhood Education: Innovations and Journal of Research in Childhood Education. Topics cover a range of topics, including Creative Problem-Solving, Developing an Inquiry-Based Curriculum, Cognitive Skills, and Mindfulness in the Classroom.

The National Association for Child Development (NACD)

Since 1979, NACD has designed individualized programs to address educational and developmental issues and needs. The targeted programs train parents and caregivers to take advantage of the current techniques. These advanced strategies help those faced with the daily role of attending to children with developmental problems.

The NACD provides assessments and evaluations at Chapters located in the United States, Australia, India, U.K., and Romania. The organization deals with mental and physical impairments, such as Down Syndrome, Autism, ADD, brain-injured children, and cerebral palsy. They also provide education for parents of preschool and gifted children. Parents learn what toys are best, what foods, and what behavioral strategies work best.

The NACD is a source of information; however, it appears there is no membership feature.

National Association for Child Development Associates (NACDA)

The organization is for individuals enrolled in Child Development Associate (CDA) coursework or have the national credential. As a member of the NACDA, you have access to a network of child care professionals. You also receive a quarterly e-newsletter.

The CDA is a prestigious additional to your credentials in early childhood education (ECE). The Council for Professional Recognition awards the CDA who meet the Competency Standards, which are divided into six goals.

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