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How do I Become a Child Development Specialist?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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If you enjoy working with children and want to be part of molding the next generation of individuals, then you may want to become a child development specialist. This important job may involve instructing children and their parents in how to deal with the challenges of being developmentally delayed. In addition, child development specialists also work alongside other child-care professionals and educators to provide children with life-enhancing supplemental support and skills to support their learning.

In order to become a child development specialist, you will want to have a general interest in the field and an education that will enable you to work effectively with children on a daily basis. The field of child development can be very challenging, and therefore a high level of patience and understanding is required to manage the responsibilities of this career. In addition, you will want to have a solid educational foundation which includes coursework in early childhood psychology, education, development and special needs training.

Depending on the level of involvement you plan to have as a child development specialist, you may choose to attain a two-year associate’s degree in child development. This will enable you to not only obtain entry level employment in child care or teaching assistance, but it will give you the option to become a child development specialist working in a capacity to support the needs of special needs children much sooner than if you tried to work your way up over several years.

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While you are working on getting an education to become a child development specialist, it’s advisable that you take a job working in either a child daycare center as a preschool aide or a local school as a teaching assistant. This will give you the experience you need working with different types of children so that you will know that this is the right career for you. In addition, you will be able to gather references and resources which will help you later on as you begin searching for an official career as a child development specialist.

To become a child development specialist, you will want to have at least a good three to five years of actual experience working in a facility that supports the developmental needs of children. In addition to a regular job, you may want to consider volunteering for an organization that provides services to special needs or developmentally delayed children in your region. You can also try working for a social services organization that serves children and parents in this area.

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