Jun 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog SVC 
2018-2019 Catalog SVC [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education

Also see Education Paraprofessional (EDUC)  for information on a related program.

Program Description

The Early Childhood Education (ECED) program prepares students for positions working with young children and families in a variety of early care and education settings. Students may pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) , an Associate in Applied Science-Transfer degree (AAS-T) , an Associate in Education degree (AEd) , a one-year certificate, multiple program certificates, or an individually developed program including Early Childhood Education and other disciplines focused on a specific role in Early Childhood Education. Graduates of an Early Childhood Education degree are often employed as lead teachers, family home visitors, or administrators in childcare, Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), and preschool programs. Courses meet the criteria addressed in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation.

Many specific courses in ECED transfer directly to Western Washington University or other four-year institutions. Check with the transfer counselor in the counseling and career services office for the most up-to-date information.

The AAS-T in Education degree transfers to City University, DeVry University, The Evergreen State College, Eastern Washington University-Child Studies degree, Seattle Pacific University, University of Phoenix, University of Cincinnati, College of Education-Birth-to-5 Early Childhood Education degree, and Washington State University-Human Development degree.

The Associate in Education degree specifically prepares students to transfer seamlessly into baccalaureate teacher preparation programs, such as Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education’s Undergraduate Elementary Education Professional program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Early Childhood Education program will be able to:

  • Develop, design and implement creative, innovative, developmentally and culturally appropriate educational practices that positively impact the development, creativity and self-esteem of young children.
  • Establish and maintain an environment that ensures children’s safety, health and nourishment.
  • Understand how children acquire language and creative expression and develop physically, cognitively and socially.
  • Observe and assess what children know and can do in order to plan and provide curriculum that meets their developmental needs.
  • Work appropriately with exceptional children and those with special needs.
  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge to plan a curriculum and classroom program based upon observational data, professionally defined standards, current research findings, and theories of learning during the early childhood stage of development.
  • Create an anti-biased, culturally relevant environment/curriculum, embracing the multifaceted term diversity, which includes, but is not exclusive to race, ethnicity, family diversity, and learning styles.
  • Communicate effectively through the spoken and written word and through visual materials for varied audiences and purposes, in the context of early childhood settings.
  • Serve children and families in a professional manner and participate in the community as a representative of early care and education.
  • Develop strong relationships with families and work collaboratively with agencies/organizations to meet children’s needs and to encourage the community’s involvement with early care and education.
  • Develop personally and professionally, maintaining current knowledge in the field and participating in on-going professional development.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, teamwork, communication, technical and information literacy skills.

Entry into the Program

Students may enter the program at the beginning of any quarter. For specific information, contact Enrollment Services or the Department Chair.

According to Washington State law RCW 43.43.830, any person with a positive criminal history for “crimes against persons” is not allowed to work with children. Background checks of criminal history are required of all students who work with children in any setting. Participants in this program will be required to provide a disclosure statement which will be submitted to the Washington State Patrol in order to complete a criminal history background check.

All ECED courses require extensive reading and writing. Students should expect to participate in both individual and group assignments. Written assignments in ECED classes are required to be typewritten or computer generated.

Work-Based Learning

Students will integrate classroom learning with work-based learning experience in practicum coursework (ECED& 120  or EDUC 223 ) at a supervised work site. Department Chair approval is required. Credits and grades are based on job-hours worked, work performance, and completion of the learning objectives specified in the learning contract. A minimum of four credits of Practicum-Nurturing Relationships (ECED& 120  or EDUC 223 ) is required for completion of the Early Childhood Education AAS degree.

Program Certificates

The ECED certificates listed below have been aligned with statewide standards to improve transferability. These certificates are “stackable,” i.e. build on each other, beginning with the ECED initial microcertificate, which is equivalent to a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, followed by any one of the 20-credit certificates. The State ECED certificate requires taking all of the courses listed for the “stackable” certificates plus the general education courses of ENGL& 101  and WMATH 100  or above.

Individual Technical Certificate

An Individual Technical Certificate may be developed in conjunction with other programs to meet marketable objectives and goals with Department Chair approval.


A certificate is awarded to students who complete requirements with a 2.0 grade point average or above.

Early Childhood Education Degrees and Courses



    Early Childhood Education