From classics such as Sesame Street and The Big Comfy Couch to new favourites such as Dora the Explorer, Diego and Yo Gaba Gaba, childrens entertainment is a multi-billion dollar business that has spread across the globe. It also includes books and other merchandise. Who are the people behind these programs that take into account a childs development and entertainment? They are professionals trained to be child entertainers through Child Development Courses.
Within the childrens media industry there are a wide range of career options. These jobs include titles such as: childrens writers, marketing specialists, project managers, content managers, childrens TV producers and childrens multi-platform producers. However, before you can embark on one of these exciting careers, you must obtain an education that will help you to discover where your talents and abilities lie.
Centennial College in Toronto, Ont. offers a three-semester Ontario College Graduate Certificate in the field with its program called Childrens Entertainment: Writing Production and Management. If you are interested in a career in which you will prepare content for children, you must first go through an application process that includes submitting an official transcript that demonstrates proof of successful completion of a post-secondary diploma or degree program. The reason for this requirement is that the child development courses within the undertaking are specifically catered to graduates of other programs who are now interested in this career path. However, Centennial College will also consider applicants presenting a combination of partial post secondary education and relevant work experience. Aside from this academic requirement, a program admission session including portfolio and writing assessment will also be required.
The child entertainers program from Centennial College is extremely reputable and unique as it was designed by very respected producers, writers and directors in Canadian childrens entertainment. Among these professionals are: S. Lawrence Mirkin, who produced numerous shows for Jim Henson; Jed Mackay, producer of numerous TVOntario shows such as Todays Special, Join In and Polka Dot Shorts; Matt Wexler, licensing manager of Spinmaster Toys, a company currently on the cutting-edge of new entertainment for kids; Kate Barris, childrens writer on such shows as Mr. Dressup, Canadian Sesame Street, Big Comfy Couch, Stickin’ Around and the award-winning show, If the World Were a Village; and many others.
These experts have guided Centennial College in creating child development courses that cover a wide range of entertainment products such as film, TV, books, education products, games and interactive media. Specific courses within the program include: Integrated Media for Childrens Entertainment, Team Building, Introduction to the Production Process, Childrens Books, Advanced Writing for Childrens Entertainment and many others. The courses provide an opportunity for students to hone their storytelling abilities, business skills and production management, giving them a well-rounded education. In addition, the child entertainers program is project driven, which allows students to complement theoretical training with hands-on learning, use of on-site professional software and other such practical applications.