Family and Human Studies students develop the skills needed to provide professional early childhood education services for young children and families.

This introductory level program will acquaint students to the multi-faceted, multi-skilled early childhood profession. Students learn issues in the provision of services to children birth through age eight in a child care or elementary setting. The program also requires service learning and lab school participation where the student is assigned to work with seasoned professionals in the field enabling each to apply and further understand theoretical frameworks discussed in class.

The Program

The Family and Human Studies program offers four program options: a child development associate (CDA) credential track; a one-year certificate in FHS; an AAS degree in family and human studies and an AS degree. Entry into the programs requires evidence of high school graduation, a GED, or concurrent enrollment.

CDA (Child Development Associate Credential)

The CDA track fulfills the formal education requirement for the nationally recognized CDA credential. Utah accepts the child development associate credential as meeting the minimum qualifications for a child care center director. Coursework completed in pursuit of the CDA option can be applied toward the one-year Certificate of Completion, the AS and AAS degrees. Consult with a departmental advisor to find out more about this option.

Certificate of Completion

The Certificate of Completion is for students who want intensive instruction in early childhood development, but are not seeking a two-year degree. The Certificate of Completion requires the same FHS courses as the two-year degrees, but eliminates most General Education requirements. Course-work completed in pursuit of the Certificate of Completion can be applied toward the AS and AAS degrees.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The two-year AAS degree in Family and Human Studies prepares the student to become a teacher or director of a child care facility. Special attention is given to providing the student the business skills needed to become an effective child care center administrator.

Associate of Science Degree

The two-year AS degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to programs at four-year universities or colleges. SLCC has developed articulation agreements with other state colleges and universities which make it easy for SLCC students to transfer their credits. Although SLCC has worked hard to make transferring to other institutions as convenient as possible, it is important to understand that specific course requirements for a degree vary among the state’s four-year colleges. To optimize your educational experience at SLCC, please be sure to consult with an advisor before registering for elective classes.

Online Classes

Many of the FHS courses for the options listed above are also offered online. NOTE: Many of the FHS classes require a lab in which the student works with preschool children. Evening students will be required to attend labs at the Eccles Lab School, which is open from 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Cooperative Education

Students working 20 hours or more per week in a licensed child care facility may complete some lab requirements at their work site (cooperative education). Please contact the advisor for more departmental information.

General Information

Students in the FHS program must not have been convicted of any crimes against children; should exhibit the maturity and emotional stability required to take charge of a group of preschool children; and possess sufficient health and strength to lift a child.

Career Opportunities

Students specializing in early childhood will be prepared to work with children in family child care or child care centers as teachers and/or directors.


It is the student’s responsibility to examine each course description for details of prerequisite classes. Those prerequisites must be satisfied with a C or better before the designated class may be taken.


It is important that students have the opportunity to apply the theories and practices discussed in the classroom. To this end, several of the FHS classes require weekly labs working with young children in the lab. Lab students must provide evidence of a TB test, health evaluation and Food Handler’s Permit within two weeks of starting a lab course.

Licensure Information

The Family and Human Studies program alone does not lead to professional licensure in the State of Utah.  Professional licensure requirements vary from state-to-state. Here is one suggested website for researching state licensure requirements: License Finder sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.  If you have difficulty finding the licensure requirements for your state or intended profession, please contact your academic advisor or SLCC’s state authorization coordinator for help.