Early Childhood Education Program
The early childhood education (ECE) program prepares students for careers working with children in early learning and care programs, Head Start, preschools, childcare centers and homes. The program offers three stackable state certificates leading to an associate in arts (AA) degree or to an associate in applied science – transfer (AAS-T) degree. Certificate graduates usually work in family home child care or in centers under the supervision of a program supervisor or director. The AA degree prepares students for lead teacher or administrator positions in early learning programs. The AAS-T degree enables students to transfer in as juniors to bachelor of arts (BA) ECE programs for which articulation agreements are in place.
Stackable state certificates:
- State initial early childhood education certificate
- State short early childhood education certificates of specialization
- Early childhood education (general)
- Family child care
- Infants and toddlers
- School age care
- Early childhood education state certificate
This program of study promotes career advancement and improves transferability for students. All certificates align with steps in the Washington State Career Lattice for Early Care and Education Professionals and NAEYC Standards for Teacher Preparation. The common courses required in the certificates also meet requirements for the ECE AA and AAS-T degrees.
Additional requirements during/after course of study
While not a requirement for the ECE program, students should be aware that there are special employment conditions in this career field that may include criminal background checks, current CPR and First Aid certification and HIV training.
Students may plan their ECE course selection to maximize transferability of their credits through articulation agreements with some Washington 4-year colleges/universities. Advising assistance is strongly recommended to identify the education path that best serves your interests.
Visit whatcom.edu/ece for more information.
Early Childhood Education Degrees and Certificates
- Early Childhood Education Associate in Applied Science — Transfer
- Early Childhood Education Associate in Arts
- State Early Childhood Education Certificate
- State Initial Early Childhood Education Certificate
- State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization - Family Child Care
- State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization - General
- State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization - Infants and Toddlers
- State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization - School Age Care
- State Short Early Childhood Education Certificate of Specialization -Administration
Early Childhood Education Classes
Integrating music and movement into early childhood environments. A repertoire of music and movement activities will be developed that focus on social development, physical health, enhancing creativity, and supporting all areas of a child's development.
Teaches techniques for teaching the foundations of mathematical and scientific thought and encouraging the development of math and science concepts and skills in young children. Environmental awareness and sustainability practices introduced.
Formerly ECE 104. Designed to meet licensing requirements for early learning lead teachers and family home child care providers, STARS 30 hour basics course recognized in the MERIT system. Topics: child growth/development, cultural competency, community resources, guidance, health/safety/nutrition and professional practice.
Formerly ECE 105. Explore the foundations of early childhood education. Examine theories defining the field, issues and trends, best practices, and program models. Observe children, professionals, and programs in action.
Formerly ECE 218. Develop knowledge and skills to ensure good health, nutrition, and safety of children in group care and education programs. Recognize the signs of abuse and neglect, and responsibilities for mandated reporting. Recommended preparation: prior or concurrent enrollment in ECED& 105.
Apply best practice for engaging in nurturing relationships with children in an early learning setting. Focus on keeping children healthy and safe while promoting growth and development.
Formerly ECE 120. Examine the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Study the role of the caregiver, relationships with families, developmentally appropriate practices, nurturing environments for infants and toddlers, and culturally relevant care. Recommended preparation: EDUC& 115.
Learn the basics of home/family child care program management. Topics include: licensing requirements; business management; relationship building; health, safety, and nutrition; guiding behavior and; promoting growth and development. Recommended preparation: ECED& 105.
Formerly ECE 255. Develop administrative skills required to develop, open, operate, manage, and assess early childhood education and care programs. Explore techniques and resources available for Washington State licensing and NAEYC standard compliance. Recommended preparation: ECED& 105.
Formerly ECE 210. Investigate learning theory, program planning, and tools for curriculum development promoting language, fine/gross motor, social-emotional, cognitive and creative skills and growth in young children (birth-age 8. Prerequisite: ECED& 105 and EDUC& 115 or concurrent enrollment.
Formerly ECE 222. Design, evaluate, and improve indoor and outdoor environments that ensure high quality and comprehensive learning experiences, and optimize the development of young children.
Formerly EDUC 220. Develop teaching strategies for language acquisition and literacy skill development at each developmental stage (birth-age 8 through the four interrelated areas of speaking, listening, writing, and reading.
Formerly ECE 141. Collect and record observation of and assessment data in order to plan for and support the child in early childhood settings. Practice reflection techniques, summarizing conclusions, and communicating findings.