Course Description

This course focuses on the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of early childhood while integrating theorists including but not limited to, Vygotsky, Erikson, Piaget, and Montessori for each stage. Students will apply various theories to vignettes and case studies while keeping the development of the hospitalized child in mind. Influential factors such as culture, family, environment, and health will be discussed as well as the vital role play, relationships, attachment, illness, hospitalization, and trauma have on the developing infant and child. Current research studies will be emphasized, students will be asked to apply to research to theory as well as follow all APA standards throughout the course.

Upon completion of this course, students will master the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of infants and young children and will examine the effect of play, attachment, environment, hospitalization, illness, and trauma have on development. Students will have a strong understanding of developmental theory and theorists that cover the span of development from in utero to school age. Students will be required to observe typically developing children, apply theories and research and to observe and reflect on sequencing, play, attachment, environment and other factors. Throughout the course students will be asked to examine the role of play in each stage of development as well as the effect of illness, hospitalization and trauma have on typical development and attachment.

Learner Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of child development theory as it applies to early infancy and child development.
  • Apply knowledge of early childhood development to case studies, observations and vignettes.
  • Analyze the important role of play and its relationship to various stages of child development
  • Interpret the influence culture, biology, environment, attachment, and parenting have on the developing child.
  • Differentiate typical and atypical development at various stages.
  • Understand the effect of trauma, hospitalization and illness have on the developing child
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current research findings as they apply to child development.


Certification Disclosure: Completion of the UCSB PaCE Child Life certificate program does not result in Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Individuals seeking certification must meet specific academic and clinical experience requirements in addition to passing the Child Life Professional Certification Exam. While courses in this certificate program count toward the educational requirements for becoming eligible to take the examination, completion of this certificate program will not, in itself, result in Child Life certification. For more information about certification visit https://www.childlife.org/certification.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Jun 22, 2021 to Sep 03, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Course Fee credit (4 units) $600.00
Available for Credit
4 units
Reading List / Textbook
Section Notes

Required Text Book: Child Development; Author: Santrock, John W.; Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; Edition: 14th, Year: 2013; ISBN 13: 9780078035333 (978-0-07-803533-3)

No refunds after 07/05/2021

IMPORTANT! One business day after enrollment, but no sooner than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to access your online course. You don’t need to take any action until you receive that email. Please note that you will not be able to access your online course until all the steps highlighted in that email are complete.