Early Childhood Education

Course work in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program combines theory and practical experience for work with young children and their families. Courses include child development, child behavior and guidance, children with special needs, planning early childhood learning environments, planning developmentally appropriate curriculum, and working with families. Practicum courses provide opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to planning and presenting curriculum, and for working with children and staff in early childhood centers. Successful completion of this program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Prospective ECE students should be aware of the fact that they will have to complete a background check.

As of fall 2019, this program requires students to achieve a grade of 2.0 or above in all classes including ECED and EDUC to progress through and complete the program.

Peninsula College offers several educational options to those who are enrolled in the ECE Program, including:

  • 90 credit Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree
  • 55 credit certificate in Early Childhood Education
  • Customized transfer degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education

Individuals may earn the State Initial ECE certificate, the State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization–General or Infant and Toddlers, and the Early Childhood Education State Certificate

Students who earn the Initial Certificate meet the licensing requirement to be a child care center lead or assistant teacher. A lead teacher will need to complete a short certificate within two years of receiving the Initial Certificate.

Individuals who earn the State Certificate meet the licensing requirement to be a child care center director, assistant director, or a center program supervisor.

Graduates with a 90 credit AAS Degree in Early Childhood Education find employment as childcare staff, family home childcare owner, Head Start teachers, or para-educators in the public schools. 

The Associate of Arts Transfer Degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education may be used as preparation for full transfer to a university in such related fields as education, speech pathology, child psychology, social services, and human services. Consult an ECED advisor and the four-year college of your choice to determine transfer requirements.

Degree & Certificate Options

  • Early Childhood Education AAS Degree
  • Early Childhood Education Certificate

Short-Term Proficiency Certificates

  • Short Early Childhood Education State Certificate
  • Short Early Childhood Education State Certificate of Specialization-General
  • Short Early Childhood Education State Certificate of Specialization-Infants and Toddlers

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Promote child development and learning
  • Build family and community relationships
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families
  • Use developmentally effective approaches
  • Use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
  • Become a professional




Professional Technical Program