Introduction to Infant and Toddler Care and Education

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 161

       Course Name: Introduction to Infant and Toddler Care and Education

       Credits: 1 (1 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Short-term course focuses on patterns of growth and development in the child from birth to age three.  Content includes strategies for designing safe, healthy, learning environments and creating appropriate learning activities.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, students who satisfactorily complete all work will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of normal growth and development of infants and toddlers in the areas of physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language development.
  2. Plan and assess age-appropriate activities for infants and toddlers in order to stimulate physical coordination, language learning, and other specific skills.
  3. Analyze opinions about parent practices, child-rearing attitudes and child guidance techniques.
  4. Identify components of quality care and managing a safe and healthy classroom environment.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The First Year of life – developmental characteristics, challenges and needs
  2. The Toddler – developmental characteristics, challenges and needs
  3. Development of observation and assessment skills
  4. Interactions with families that foster communication, mutual support and understandings
  5. Environments which are anti-bias, developmentally appropriate and aesthetically appealing
  6. Guidance techniques which foster self-esteem and optimal development
  7. Development and assessment of activities for infants and toddlers

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Media Presentations
  4. Observation
  5. Hands on Activities

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Oral Presentations

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Group Participation
Written Report

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.