Child Development and Services

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Program overview

The Family Science and Human Development: Child Development and Services concentration prepares individuals to work with children, and their families, in a range of care and service settings. This concentration centers on the development of children, birth through school age, and the cultivation of skills, environments, and programs that promote healthy child development and outcomes. Interpersonal relationships and communications; diverse family systems; parent education; family law and policy; and professional ethics and competencies are emphasized.  

The Child Development and Services concentration includes selection of courses within one of two tracks: Child Programming and Administration (fulfills State of Michigan requirements for childcare center directors) or Child Life Foundations (provides fundamental knowledge for service as child life specialist).  

Career opportunities

Graduates are prepared for work in a wide variety of child-centered services including parent education, adoption, foster care, behavior intervention, childcare, program administration, child welfare, alternative education, and for graduate studies in Child Life, Family Science and Services, Youth and Community Development, or other related programs. The Child Development and Services degree does not provide Michigan Department of Education teaching certification. Additional courses and clinical experiences beyond those offered in FSHD: Child Development and Services with the Child Life Foundations track are necessary in order to become eligible for certification as a child life specialist.

Program details 

All required FSHD core courses are available online. Students can also take the majority of FSHD classes for any concentration in-person. (FCS 1030, FCS 2190, and FCS 4295 are only offered online.) The Child Programming and Administration track can be completed fully online, provided that the student chooses classes with an online option.  

There is no minor required with the FSHD: Child Development and Services concentration. Students must successfully complete the WMU Essential Studies requirements.


The Family Science and Human Development: Child Development & Services program qualifies for the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship. Learn more.