Child Development and Family Relations
College of Education and Human Development
The Child Development and Family Relations program prepares students to work with children, youth and families in a variety of rewarding and challenging careers, including behavioral specialist, early childhood educator, child advocate, recreation/camp director, parent educator, and interventionist. Students study human growth and development across the lifespan in the contexts of schools, communities and families.
This broad degree program appeals to a variety of interests. Students who are interested in helping others, advocating for social change, and contributing to stronger and healthier communities will find the program to be an excellent path to a fulfilling career, whatever direction they choose. Possible career paths include: daycare staff/owner, family support professional, crisis worker, child life specialist, family/child advocate, preschool teacher, youth counselor, and many others.
Our undergraduate program allows students to apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings in our local communities. Hands-on learning starts in the second year of study. The program offers two tracks: K-3 teaching certification, and professional preparation to work with children and families in community settings.
The early childhood education option includes student-teaching experience. Our curriculum positions graduates to easily complete the application process for Certified Family Life Educator status.
Students can join the Early Childhood Organization (EChO), giving them the opportunity to collaborate with peers from nearby colleges, teachers, social workers and others in the field, allowing them to build their network before they graduate.
UMaine is the only school in the University of Maine System to offer a Child Development and Family Relations program. The purpose of the program is to advance students’ knowledge of humans’ physical, emotional and intellectual development throughout their lives.
Students learn how relationships form in society and how they can help families in need. We focus on diversity, teaching students to be responsive to children and families from marginalized groups and many walks of life. Our work aligns with state and federal priorities to assist our nation’s most vulnerable members: infants and young children, youth who are at risk, families experiencing poverty, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and marginalized or disenfranchised populations.
Katherine M. Durst Child Development Learning Center Experience
Katherine M. Durst Child Development Learning Center is a licensed nursery and preK program on campus, one of the oldest university-affiliated centers in the United States. Students develop research skills through internships with faculty and apply concepts and theory during an integrated practicum or field experience.