Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Jessica McHugh, PhD, OTR/L, BPD, Pn1
human development, child behavior, pediatrics, childcare, occupational therapy, advocacy
Significant physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development occurs during the first five years of life; many children spend time in the childcare setting during this crucial time of development. Appropriately meeting the needs of children is important for healthy growth and development throughout an individual’s life. Working in collaboration with the childcare staff, occupational therapists are beneficial when working with the pediatric population. With their extensive knowledge, expertise, and training in human development, as well as the physiological, psychological, social, and emotional needs of individuals throughout the lifespan, occupational therapists improve the children’s engagement and success within a childcare setting. The purpose of this capstone project was to advocate for the field of occupational therapy at the Center for Children and Families (CFCF), a childcare setting in Vermillion, South Dakota. The CFCF provides childcare services for over 70 children between the ages of six weeks to five years. The capstone student advocated for the field of occupational therapy by developing human development resource guides and occupational therapy advocacy materials, interacting with and participating in childcare classrooms, creating and delivering staff trainings, collaborating with childcare staff, and acquiring, sharing, and applying knowledge related to pediatric occupational therapy services. A total of nine learning objectives were created and accomplished through the completion of all learning activities and deliverables over the 14-week capstone experience.
Leinhart, Nicole K., "Advocating for the Field of Occupational Therapy in a Childcare Setting" (2021). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 32.