Early Childhood Education
Major Code: 570B

Associate in Applied Science

The Early Childhood Education program is designed to prepare professionals for a variety of positions within the field from caring for and educating infants, toddlers and preschoolers to managing a child care center or preschool program. It also prepares students to serve as a teacher's aide in a public school or to work in school-age child care programs.

Waubonsee Community College's Early Childhood Education program is an entitled program which offers the coursework to attain the Early Childhood Education Level 2 and 4, and Infant and Toddler Level 2 and 4, through Gateways. Students may choose to apply to Gateways to receive these credentials. Additional application fees may apply. Please note a high school diploma or GED is required in order to receive any of the following credentials. Gateways credentials are awarded and recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Child Care and Development. Gateways credentials are symbols of professional achievement.

For further information regarding the attainment of the Gateways credentials or other program questions, contact Carla Diez, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, ext. 2311, or Linda O'Connell-Knuth, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, ext. 6698.

General Education Requirements18


  • COM100 Fundamentals of Speech Communication3
  • ENG101 First-Year Composition I3
  • ENG102 First-Year Composition II3
  • PSY100 Introduction to Psychology3
  • SOC120 Racial and Ethnic Relations or
    SOC130 Sociology of Family3
  • Mathematics or Physical and Life Sciences elective3

Major Program Requirements36

Students pursuing the ECE Credential Level 4 or the Infant and Toddler Credential Level 4 are required to complete this core group of courses.


  • ECE101 Intro. to Early Childhood Education3
  • ECE106 Guiding Young Children3
  • ECE115 Child Growth/Development3
  • ECE120 Health, Safety and Nutrition3
  • ECE125 Child, Family and Community3
  • ECE130 Observation and Assessment2
  • ECE140 Inclusion in Early Childhood: Birth Through Age Eight3
  • ECE198 Curriculum for Early Childhood Programs3
  • ECE210 Language Arts for the Young Child3
  • ECE215 Creative Activities for the Young Child3
  • ECE220 Math and Science for the Young Child3
  • ECE250 Early Childhood Education Practicum4

Electives and Emphasis Areas6

Students who plan to teach in Early Childhood Education settings or those pursuing the ECE Credential Level 4 through Gateways should select electives from the ECE Level 4 emphasis; students who are pursuing the Infant and Toddler Credential Level 4 or the School Age Credential Level 4 through Gateways should complete the specialized courses listed in the Infant and Toddler Level 4 emphasis or the School Age Level 4 emphasis.

ECE Credential Level 4 Emphasis

Select electives from the courses listed.

  • ECE102 Career Explorations in Early Childhood3
  • ECE104 Infant and Toddler Development3
  • ECE107 Development and Guidance of the School Age Child3
  • ECE145 Multiculturalism in Early Childhood3
  • ECE204 Infant and Toddler Curriculum3
  • ECE207 School-Age Programming3
  • ECE225 Play and Creative Expression for the Young Child3
  • ECE230 Early Childhood Center Administration*3
Infant and Toddler Level 4 Emphasis
Complete the courses listed.
  • ECE104 Infant and Toddler Development3
  • ECE204 Infant and Toddler Curriculum3
School Age Level 4 Emphasis
Complete the courses listed.
  • ECE107 Development and Guidance of the School-Age Child3
  • ECE207 School-Age Programming3
Illinois Director Level I Emphasis
In addition to completing the Early Childhood Education AAS degree (60 hours), complete the following specialized courses.
  • ECE230 Early Childhood Center Administration3
  • ECE299 Early Childhood Education Administration Internship3
  • BUS100 Introduction to Business3
  • COL110 Leadership Studies3

Total Semester Hours for Degree60


Major course shown in color requires minimum grade of C.

* If planning to complete the Illinois Director Credential Level I, select ECE230 as one of the chosen electives.