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 in Applied Science Degree, AAS , an Associate of Education degree (A.Ed.) , a one-year certificate, or multiple program certificates. 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.
Degree and Certificate Options:
An Associate in Applied Science Degree, AAS is awarded upon completion of a minimum of 90 credits of specified technical and related education coursework above 100-level with both an overall 2.0 grade point average and a 2.0 grade point average in the technical major.
Early Childhood Education, Associate in Applied Science, Planning Guide
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.
Program Map - State Early Childhood Education Certificate
Program Map - State Initial Early Childhood Education Certificate
Program Map - State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate - Administration
Program Map - State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate - Family Child Care
Program Map - State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate - General
Program Map - State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate - Infant/Toddler Care
Program Map - State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate - School Age Care
General Education Learning Outcomes
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Early Childhood Education program will be able to:
- Use knowledge of key child development theories and current research to analyze and understand children’s perspectives, behavior and development.
- Develop strategies for connecting with and supporting the child and family that recognize the interconnectedness of the child, family, and community and the impacts of culture and structural inequity on their lives.
- Use effective teaching strategies that adapt and change to meet student’s needs.
- Use observation and documentation as tools to understand the development, learning, and behavior of young children and use that knowledge for curriculum development.
- Create engaging curriculum that is based on knowledge of children’s developmental needs, established learning outcomes, and children’s interest.
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. Students with a criminal background should complete a background check with the Department of Children Youth and Families prior to enrolling in the program to make sure they will be able to complete the practicum requirement and gain employment after graduation.
Specialized Program Information:
Students will integrate classroom learning with work-based learning experience in practicum coursework (ECED& 120 and ECED 223 or EDUC 223 ) at a supervised work site. Department Chair approval is required. Credits and grades are based on hours worked, work performance, and completion of the learning objectives specified in the course syllabus. A minimum of six credits of Practicum-Nurturing Relationships (ECED& 120 and ECED 223 ) is required for completion of the Early Childhood Education AAS degree. A minimum of six credits of Practicum-Nurturing Relationships (ECED& 120 and EDUC 223 ) is required for completion of the Associate in Education-Early Childhood Education degree.
All ECED courses require extensive reading and writing. Students should expect to participate in both individual and group assignments.