Child and Family Development

Child and Family Development

The Child and Family Development program provides students diverse learning opportunities with children, adults, and families through various academic and community experiences.

The Child and Family Development program prepares students for a variety of careers and is aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation.

Adult reading to a child outside

The program courses include interactive experiences with infants and children through age eight. Instruction, lab experiences, internships, and service-learning opportunities provide skills for leadership, entry-level positions, and professional development in related careers. Students transferring must earn at least a "C" in courses.


Hear from our students

Kendra Smith holding a children's book

Student Spotlight - Kendra Smith

My favorite thing about MSU-West Plains has been the many connections I have made with the faculty and students, as well as some professionals within my career field.

Required Documentation for Lab Classes:

  • An annual negative result of a tuberculin skin test
  • Registration in the family care safety registry
  • Medical examination report for childcare providers
  • Background check through the MO Highway Patrol MACHS system
  • MOVECHS Waiver Statement
  • Professional Liability Insurance (free through Student MSTA)

Submit required documentation for lab classes (CFD 160, CFD 255, CFD 260, CFD 297) to the Program Coordinator.  Findings from screenings that prevent a student from participating in a licensed and accredited child care center will disqualify the student from completing laboratory classes.

Sample Careers and Salary Outlook

  • Preschool Teacher: $29,820-$48,210
  • Preschool and Daycare Administrator: $38,690 - $44,860
  • Nanny: $21,630 - $29,810
  • Substitute Teachers
  • Community Service Workers
  • Youth Development Program Workers
  • Managers or Directors in Early Childhood Settings
  • Childcare Worker (e.g, head start, nanny, daycare) : $24,360
  • Other

Helpful Links:

For More Information, Contact:

For more information about the degree or certificates and how to apply contact:
Dr. Brenda Smith
Associate Professor, Program Coordinator
(417) 255-7736