Child and Family Studies

Certificate in Family Services


100% Online

Learn From Anywhere

18 Credit Hours

to Graduate
Cost per Hour


Per Credit Hour

Make a Lasting Impact on Your Community

EKU’s online family services certificate focuses on the knowledge and skillsets needed to provide educational and support services to families, parents and children. The program prepares human service professionals to take on leadership roles and make a lasting impact on the lives of children and families within the community. Earn this credential while completing your bachelor’s degree and enhance your learning experience and career opportunities. 

Career Outlook

 The demand for professionals with backgrounds in childhood development and early childhood education has grown steadily in recent years, and is expected to continue to increase through 2031.

— U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Job Titles for Child and Family Studies Graduates

Early childhood development and early childhood education are challenging and rewarding fields.

> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Job Titles Include:

  • Head Start/Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Afterschool Teacher
  • Assessment Specialist


Where Have EKU Child and Family Studies Graduates Worked?

EKU child and family studies graduates are prepared to teach or administer in private early childhood programs.

> Learn More About Career Opportunities

Employers Include:

  • KinderCare Learning Center
  • Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
  • University of Kentucky Hospitals
  • Wild Health
  • Cumberland River Behavioral Health

EKU Online Career Services

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search

> Learn More About Career Services



By submitting, you consent to EKU contacting you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text using the information you provided. 

Benefits of EKU Online

Rooted in the latest research and child development best practices, EKU’s online child and family studies programs prepare students for a variety of rewarding career options as well as graduate and professional school programs.

  • Accelerated 8-week terms
  • Personalized graduation plan
  • No application fee
  • Free textbooks through EKU BookSmart
  • Reduced tuition for active-duty military members
  • Credit hours that count toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) and can be applied toward your state’s credentials**
  • Free online tutoring and career services assistance
  • Coursework including child development and family studies that incorporates National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) professional preparation standards
  • Two practicum experiences to help you discover your calling
  • Quality courses from respected faculty who teach the same classes online and on campus
  • Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best universities offering online degrees

**Review your state’s requirements and speak to your advisor about how your coursework may transfer


These instructions are for students enrolling in the online child and family studies program. For information related to the on-campus program, visit the departmental website.

Child and family studies courses require interaction with children and/or the elderly. Therefore, a criminal background check and negative TB skin test results are required prior to registering for some classes. Speak with an advisor for details. If you have a record of criminal behavior or positive TB results, you may be required to drop the course(s) and select another major. In addition, some courses will require Professional Liability Insurance (PLI).


EKU is dedicated to preparing the highest quality early childhood professionals for Kentucky and beyond. EKU’s curriculum blends academic and professional preparation through course topics such as child development, organization and administration of early childhood programs, and creative activities and materials for young children.

Degree Requirements

A total of 18 credits are required to graduate. Complete degree requirement information about early childhood director certificate is available in the university undergraduate catalog.

Please review the admissions requirements before applying for this or any program. If you have questions about the program or are planning to register for classes, please speak to the program advisor.


For a full list of course descriptions please see section 7 of the University graduate catalog.

Family Services

Interaction and Guidance – CDF 236
Overview of guidance strategies in fostering children’s social competency within group or individually. Adults¿ role in various interactions (e.g. parent-child, teacher-child) and resources for working with families/parents (e.g. parent education workshop) will be explored.

Family Involvement with Young Children – CDF 327
Study of effective relationships with families. Methods and materials useful in fostering family life education, including adult learning principles. Experiences include implementing family service plans, planning discussion groups, conducting home visits, and parent-teacher conferences. Includes 15 service learning hours.

Diversity Awareness for Professional Practice – CDF 424
Professionals working with individuals and families today must develop cultural competency. With a focus on sensitivity and respect, this course provides an overview of diversity in society, including race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, and other forms of diversity.

Family Stress and Resilience – CDF 437
Study of stressors which may affect the quality of family life and resiliency factors which families and individuals employ to cope effectively with these stressors. Current research and models of family stress and resilience are studied.

Introduction to Family Life Programs – CDF 243
Examination of programs which focus on forming partnerships with families through the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to support family and individual well-being. Career development and opportunities explored.

Child and Adolescent Development – CDF 342
Study of U.S. youth, utilizing systems theory and a life-course perspective approach. Effects of economic, social, and technological change on policies and programs affecting youth of diverse backgrounds.

Family as Consumers – FRM 352
Family resource management across the life course. Resource allocation and decision-making to attain family goals and financial wellbeing; time, money, housing, work-family balance. Role of family economics in marital/family satisfaction and multiple family forms.



Emily Calvert

Emily Calvert

Enrollment Advisor

Call or email Enrollment Advisor Emily Calvert for information about the EKU Online Child and Family Studies Child Development Bachelor Degree program.

Contact Info:

Application Deadlines


Term Application Deadline Classes Begin
Fall A July 5 August
Fall B August 31 October
Spring A November 30 January
Spring B January 31 March
Summer A April 5 May
Summer B  May 31 June


Additional Contact Information

Admissions: 859-622-2106
Academic Testing: 859-622-1281
Big E Central (Financial Aid & Student Account Services): 859-622-2361
Military & Veterans Affairs Office: 859-622-2345

Student Success

Child and Family Studies graduates have options upon options. We can work with the public through educational programs, home based programs, court systems, policy or government. I absolutely love the child development program at EKU.

Kara Canterbury-BrownEKU Child & Family Studies Graduate

Online Military Students

EKU Online offers veterans and active duty military students an unparalleled online learning experience that provides accessibility, convenience and flexibility.

Special Tuition for Active Duty* Military
Eastern Kentucky University offers reduced tuition expenses to $250 per credit hour for undergraduate and $325 per credit hour for graduate courses to all service members currently serving on active duty.

*Active duty is defined as on federal orders for 180 days or more.

“I’d like to thank the EKU College of Justice & Safety for the opportunity to complete my degree online. It’s very user-friendly, and everyone has bent over backwards to make this happen.”

– 1LT Heath Bergmann, EKU Online Graduate

Heath Bergmann
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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