PCHS Child Development program hopes to fill local need

A Polk County High School program is seeking to help fill the need for child care professionals in the area.

PCHS launched its Child Development program in 2020, hoping to engage students in early childhood careers. The offering provides hands-on opportunities for students to develop skills and interests in a field in need of more professionals locally.

“Due to the lack of child care in our community, we hoped that this program would provide that opportunity for interested students to have this experience and hopefully go to work in this field,” said Lindsey Edwards, CTE Career Development Coordinator at Polk County High School.

Students in the pathway take Child Development, a course in which class members have the opportunity to explore family systems, prenatal development, childbirth/postpartum care and how children develop from age birth through five years. They are offered engaging hands-on experiences through the use of simulations related to pregnancy, parenting, safety and nutrition.

Students that successfully complete Child Development are encouraged to follow up with the Early Childhood Education Honors course, an internship experience open to students interested in careers related to the field of education. Those students are eligible to earn the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NCECC) Equivalency, making them qualified for the workforce immediately after completion.

Interns in the program work in Polk County classrooms – currently at Polk Central Elementary – for 135 hours with students in PreK-1st grade alongside experienced teachers to gain relevant first-hand knowledge and experience. They have a great deal of fun working with the younger students and learning new things while working in the field.  

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