Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program has several options for students including certificates, an associate degree, and a bachelor's degree. The ECE program is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of roles in licensed early learning settings (childcare centers and family home environments), ECEAP, and Head Start programs. The courses include theory and application-based content that focuses on providing high-quality care and learning experiences for diverse groups of children and their families. The coursework also aligns with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) position statements, developmentally appropriate practice, and childcare licensing requirements.

The ECE courses include practicum components that require field experience in a licensed early learning program. Students currently employed in a licensed early learning program can complete this field experience in their place of employment. Students not currently employed in a licensed early learning program may volunteer at the LWTech Early Learning Center or any licensed early learning program. Students can choose a part-time or full-time class schedule. Classes are offered with the option to attend classes via Microsoft Teams or in on-campus classrooms. 

The ECE Stackable Certificates meet the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) licensing staff qualification requirements for specific roles. These certificates are typically completed during the first year of the AAS in ECE associate degree program. Students who complete the AAS in ECE Degree may then matriculate into our BAS in Early Childhood Education bachelorโ€™s degree program.  Students who are transferring into the program with a previously earned associate or higher degree may be eligible to complete the ECE State Certificate and combine credits to meet the prerequisites for BAS in ECE program.

 

About the Early Childhood Education Program

Early Childhood Educators positively shape children's formative years to prepare them for successful futures. The Early Childhood Education program at LWTech follows the standards set by the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Experienced instructors work as mentors with Early Childhood Education students, both inside and outside the classroom setting, collaborating with students in professional application of age-appropriate best practices.  

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree prepares students for a rewarding career working with children and their families that includes planning and implementing engaging curriculum, observing and assessing childrenโ€™s learning, communicating effectively with families, and evaluating quality programs for young children. 

The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) builds upon the skills and knowledge developed in the AAS program and prepares students for leadership roles in Early Childhood Education.  

 

Certificates and AAS Degree

The Certificates and AAS program is designed to prepare students for teacher and management roles within licensed childcare centers, licensed family home environments, ECEAP, and Head Start programs. The certificates meet the Department of Children, Youth and Families educational requirements for specific early childhood positions in licensed early learning environments. Students may attend full or part-time and enroll in the program in any quarter. Classes are offered in the evenings on campus and online via Microsoft Teams. 

Students who complete the AAS Degree may then matriculate into our BAS in Early Childhood Education program. Students who are transferring in a prior AAS or higher degree may be eligible to complete the 47 credit Certificate program and then transfer into the BAS program without completing the second year AAS courses. 

Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (BAS in ECE)

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (BAS in ECE) program prepares students to work in a variety of roles including early learning lead teacher, childcare administrator (director or program supervisor), mentor, coach, curriculum designer, and trainer. The 90 credits of coursework in the program includes advanced applications of ECE topics that will provide students with research, collaboration, advanced learning, and reflective practice. Students will enhance their teaching skills, and implement strategies to promote equity and inclusion while working with diverse groups of young children and their families. 

 

The BAS in ECE program is designed for students who have completed an associate degree in Early Childhood Education or an equivalent combination of credits that meets the BAS prerequisite requirements and includes the successful completion of 90 college credits. 

Features of the BAS in ECE Program:

  • Offered in a fully remote hybrid format with synchronous video class times, and online coursework.
  • Video-based synchronous class sessions are scheduled in the evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. and/or on Saturdays to meet the needs of working students.
  • Cohort model for peer support and connections
  • Part-time and full-time options

BAS in ECE graduates can choose to continue their education pathway by enrolling in graduate programs at other colleges or universities related to ECE, child studies, human development, leadership in education, and Master in Teaching (MIT) with teacher certification/licensure options to teach in public school Kindergarten to 8th-grade settings.

Stackable Certificates and AAS Degree in Early Childhood Education

The ECE Stackable Certificates and AAS program is designed to help Early Childhood Educators prepare for working in early childhood education programs in licensed childcare centers, family home childcare environments, ECEAP, and Head Start programs. These certificates meet Department of Children, Youth and Families educational requirements for specific early childhood positions in licensed early learning environments. Students can attend full or part-time and enroll in the program in any quarter. Classes are available in a synchronous learning environment with students choosing to attend classes via Microsoft Teams or in an on-campus classroom. 

 

The ECE program includes practicum courses the require working field experience in a licensed early learning program. Students currently employed in a licensed early learning program can complete this field experience in their place of employment. Students not currently employed in a licensed early learning program may volunteer at the LWTech Early Learning Center or any licensed early learning program. 

 

The Stackable Certificate program is the first year of the AAS Early Childhood two-year degree program. Students completing the full two-year degree program will obtain six certificates plus the degree upon completion of the program. Students who complete the AAS Degree may then matriculate into our BAS in Early Childhood Education program. Students who are transferring into the program with a prior AAS or higher degree earned may be eligible to complete the 47 credit Certificate and transfer into the BAS program.

 

Certificates Offered

Initial Certificate (12 credits)

  • Initial Certificate:ECED&105 (Intro to Early Childhood Education), ECED&120 (Nurturing Practicum), ECED&107 (Health, Safety, and Nutrition)

Short Certificate Specializations (20 credits โ€“ 12 for the Initial Certificate plus 8 for at least one of the Short Certificates): Student only need to complete EDUC&115 (Child Development) one time. Students may not apply for a Short Certificate until they have also completed the Initial Certificate Courses, however Short Certificate class may be completed first based on the quarter the student joins the program.

  • Short General Certificate: EDUC&115 (Child Development), EDUC&130 (Guiding Behavior)
  • Infant Toddler Certificate: EDUC&115 (Child Development), ECED&132 (Infant Toddler Care)
  • School Age Certificate OR Family Childcare Certificate: EDUC&115 (Child Development) and ECED&136 (School Age Care) or ECED&134 (Family Child Care)
  • Administration Certificate: EDUC&115 (Child Development) and ECED&139 (Administration)

47 Credit State Certificate: Completion of Initial, at least one Short Certificate Specialization and students must complete: EDUC&150 (Child, Family and Community), ECED&180 (Language and Literacy), ECED&190 (Observation and Assessment), ECED&160 (Curriculum), and ECED&170 (Environments) or EDUC&130 (Guiding Behavior). Students must also complete English&101 and Math&107 but may require several courses of each depending on enrollment assessment scores to meet this requirement.

AAS Early Childhood Degree: Requires completion of the 47 Credit State Certificate and the following courses: ECED 130 (Practicum II), ECED 200 (Practicum III), ECED 215 (Capstone Practicum), ECED&134 (Family Childcare) or ECED&136 (School Age Care), ECED&132 (Infant Toddler Certificate), ECED&139 (Administration), ECED&170 (Learning Environments), ECED 140 (Diversity), ECED 145 (Science, Math, Music and Creative Activities), EDUC&203 (Exceptional Child), CMST&210 (Interpersonal Communication), and SOC&101 (Introduction to Sociology) or PSYC&100.

Learn more about the BAS, AAS Degree, and Certificate Requirements

Career Opportunities

When you complete the Early Childhood Education program, you will be ready for employment in a wide range of settings. Graduates find employment in preschools, childcare facilities, Head Start programs, and family child care. The AAS degree and certificate coursework is designed to allow students to meet the requirements for various levels of entry into the field of early childhood education. BAS graduates may pursue careers in management as directors or program supervisors.

Additional Early Childhood Education Program Information

  • Early Childhood Education Program Admission Dates
    • Fall Quarter
      • Preferred Deadline - May 20, 2024
      • Rolling Deadline- August 26, 2024
  • Early Childhood Education Program Class Format
    • BAS degree:
    • Online live classes (Teams) with online course content
    • AAS and Certificates:
      • Online live classes (Teams)with online course content
      • On-campus (hybrid or hyflex)

Supported certificate(s):

I-BEST Support in Early Childhood Education

Discover the advantages of I-BEST support for students pursuing the State Early Childhood Education Certificate of Completion. Our comprehensive program provides in-class assistance in various areas, including writing, math, notetaking, presentation skills, study techniques, and career readiness.

What is I-BEST?

At LWTech, I-BEST classes are uniquely structured with TWO instructors in ONE classroom. One instructor is a Professional-Technical or General Education faculty member, while the other specializes in Adult Basic Education (ABE) or English Language Learning (ELL). This collaborative approach ensures that I-BEST students receive exceptional attention and support throughout their classes. With this additional academic assistance, our I-BEST classes yield remarkable student success rates, allowing them to commence their certificate programs earlier, complete their degrees faster, and acquire the necessary education for pursuing their desired careers.

To discover more about I-BEST and connect with a knowledgeable advisor, please visit our dedicated I-BEST webpage.

Admission to the applied bachelor's degree is competitive. See the below requirements for admissions information and requirements.

  1. Entry into Early Childhood Education program requires completion of the general online application.
  2. An Early Childhood Education BAS program application is required. See below for BAS application requirements.

BAS Prerequisites

If you have not already taken classes at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, you must fill out the online admissions application to receive a Student ID number and an LWTech issued email address.You will not be able to fill out the BAS application without completing this step.

To be considered for admission to the BAS ECE program, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. An earned associate degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution in Early Childhood Education or a closely related field
  2. General education courses, or the equivalent, with a 2.0 minimum GPA.
    1. 5 credits of college-level math (with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite) or higher
    2. 5 credits of college-level English (ENGL& 101 or equivalent)
    3. 5 credits of college-level Social Science
    4. 5 credits of college-level Humanities
  3. Technical courses, or the equivalent, with a 2.5 minimum GPA
    1. ECED& 105 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
    2. ECED& 107 Health, Safety, and Nutrition
    3. ECED& 120 Practicum: Nurturing Relationships
    4. ECED& 160 Curriculum Development
    5. ECED& 170 Environments
    6. ECED& 180 Language and Literacy Development
    7. ECED& 190 Observation and Assessment
    8. EDUC& 115 Child Development
    9. EDUC& 130 Guiding Behavior
    10. EDUC& 150 Child, Family, and Community
  4. Minimum cumulative GPA across all college coursework of 2.5

BAS Application

Early Childhood Education BAS Application

Entry into the Early Childhood Education program, AAS-T, and Certificates, requires completion of LWTech's online application.


Additional Admission Considerations

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BAS Information Sessions

Find out more about the new BAS in Early Childhood Education here at Lake Washington Institute of Technology! Sessions include information about:

  • Program overview
  • The application process
  • Scholarship opportunities

Location

Microsoft Teams: click the date for meeting link below. 

Dates:

  • Information sessions are held every quarter. Please contact Shanti Connors for information on upcoming information sessions.

Microsoft Teams Help

  • Teams can be used on a computer, tablet, or smartphone or you can call in.
  • Teams does not require registering for an account.
  • Visit Teams Support for more information and help videos.

LWTech Information Sessions

Not sure what program you want to apply to? Check out LWTech's general information sessions and weekly tours by going to LWTech.edu/Visit.

Please contact Karin Navarro for more information about Early Achievers Scholarships. To meet the Early Achievers requirements you must:

  • Complete the application
  • Be a Washington state resident
  • Be employed at an Early Achievers Childcare Facility (10 hours/week; 40 hours/month; min. 3 months)
  • Plan to pursue an Early Childhood Education Certificate or AA degree

Get Started in Early Childhood Education Today!

Explore Careers and Paths in Early Childhood Education

To learn more about transferring to another college or university, please visit our Transferring from LWTech page.


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