Child and Family Services | SOE | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Child and Family Services

The Child and Family Services program is designed for students who choose to work with children and their families in a variety of settings, including non-public school or social service settings. This degree provides the flexibility for students to gain the skills for their desired career. In selecting courses, students can follow any of four suggested career tracks:

  1. Director
  2. Child Development Specialist
  3. Parent Educator
  4. Social Service

Students have practicum experiences with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers through the Southern Region Early Childhood Program as well as a semester exploring careers. During the last semester, students have the opportunity to do an internship as a capstone experience to gain skills that make them more competitive in the job market.


Want to learn more? Complete our information request form.

Graduates of our Early Childhood Program have a variety of career choices. Some of these careers include:

  • Infant, toddler, preschool or primary teachers or administrators in public or private school programs, including child care and public school primary level teaching;
  • Head Start teachers and directors;
  • Licensing/Certification representatives with the Department of Child and Family Services; parent educators;
  • Child development specialists; family life specialists in social service agencies;
  • Specialists in parent education and family literacy;
  • Parent liaison and family advocate

Other options include careers in recreation centers, adult education programs, and social service agencies.


The minor in Child and Family Services is designed to provide students with basic knowledge in early childhood and family studies. The selection of coursework is flexible so that courses can be adapted to the special interests of students with diverse backgrounds and goals. Students are expected to honor all prerequisites in their selection of courses. A minimum of 18 hours of coursework is required. For more information, contact the Early Childhood Advisor in the School of Education Advisement Office at 618-453-6340 or visit room 122 in the Wham Education Building.