Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood program is designed to provide experiences in educational theory in the areas of social, emotional, cognitive, physical/motor and creative development for children from birth through age eight. Courses also are available for caregivers of school-age children, ages 5 through 14. Now that ongoing research reveals the significance of early development, professional preparation has become essential for anyone pursuing a career in the education and care of young children.

Working with young children is a challenging, rewarding and physically demanding experience. Academic expectations for these courses require college-level study and communication skills. To succeed in this profession, it helps to have enthusiasm for children, patience, humor, compassion, respect for differences, creativity, flexibility, and a commitment to nurturing children’s growth and development.

The SFCC ECED program is a fully online certificate and degree program. For more information, visit CCS Online.

Professional Organizations

For more information about the SFCC ECED Program, contact:

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Contact information is listed below. Select the email link to send an email. For general program information, contact the administrative assistant. The globe icon Globe Icon identifies faculty web sites. Click the globe to visit the site.

Early childhood education certificates and degrees cover an interdisciplinary array of topics to prepare graduates to work with children, usually from the ages of birth through around age 8. Courses include opportunities to work with children through specially design practicum and course application components. Students may complete their work with children in a variety of early learning settings including:

  • SFCC/SCC Early Learning Centers
  • Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Elementary Schools
  • Child Care Centers
  • Family Child Care Homes
  • Before & After School Care
  • Student's own place of employment

A background clearance and proof of negative TB test will be required prior to placement with children. This broad exposure to a variety of settings with children, under direct supervision of a master teacher, is one of the program's strengths.

Depending on your goals, these certificates and degrees could prepare you for a career as an early childhood professional. The SFCC Early childhood education program offers several options:

  • Washington State ECED Stackable Certificates (12-47 credits)
  • SFCC ECED Certificate (60 credits)
  • ECED AAS Degree (90 credits) - A two-year designed to begin or advance your career quickly and conveniently
  • ECED AAS-T Degree (90 credits) - A two year degree designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution
  • SFCC AAS-T EWU BAE/ECED P-3 Teacher Certification Articulation (95 credits) - A two-year degree designed for transfer to Eastern Washington University to earn a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood which prepares students for the State of Washington P-3 Teacher Certification
  • SFCC AAS-T WSU BA Human Development Articulation (90 credits) - A two-year degree designed for transfer to Washington State University to earn a Bachelor's degree in Human Development
  • Associate in Arts (AA) degree - includes 15-25 credits of electives in ECED that transfers to four-year schools

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate proficiency in the seven Critical Work Functions for the Washington State Skill Standards for the Lead Early Childhood Teacher.
  2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in both written and oral communication.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to manage resources relevant to the Early Childhood Education profession.

Disclaimer: It is highly recommended that you successfully clear the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) background check before completing educational courses in the Early Childhood Education program, as some criminal charges can disqualify you from being allowed to work with children. Students cannot earn a degree in the ECE program unless they are able to complete ECED courses with field site hours which require direct contact with children. Per Chapter 170-06 WAC, Washington State law directs DEL to conduct background checks on anyone authorized to care for or have unsupervised access to children in licensed child care. For more information on background clearance and access to the Background Check Form, please visit: www.del.wa.gov/requirements/new/background.aspx

Washington State ECED Stackable Certificates (12-47 credits)

In Washington, early learning professionals who want to further their education have a clear path to follow: Colleges across the state offer common courses, course titles, course numbers, course descriptions and student outcomes. All courses are aligned with the Washington State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals. They also allow students to earn “stackable” certificates: The courses that students are required to take will build on one another in a sequential manner and deepen levels of applied learning along the way.

  • State Initial ECED Certificate (12 credits)
  • Short State ECED Certificate of Specialization (20 credits)
    • General
    • Infant/Toddler
    • School-age
    • Family Child Care
    • Administration
  • State ECED Certificate (27 credits)

SFCC ECED Certificate (60 credits)

The Early Childhood Education certificate program is designed for students wishing to prepare for entry-level positions in early childhood facilities. Emphasis is placed directly on early childhood education course work.

Early childhood professionals must acquire the necessary knowledge and skill to maximize children’s early potential in all areas of development. This has increased an already solid demand for graduates from the Early Childhood Education program at Spokane Falls Community College. Recent research in how the brain grows and develops shows that early experiences make permanent impressions on the structure and functioning of the young child’s fast growing brain.

Positions include:

  • Family Support Specialist
  • Child Care Administrator/Director
  • Children’s Museum Project Coordinator
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Infant/Toddler Teacher
  • Family Child Care Home Owner
  • Family Services Worker
  • Parent Educator
  • Resource and Referral Specialist
  • Community care Licensing Analyst
  • Para-Educator
  • Head Start/ECEAP Teacher

Pay scales for entry-level positions range from minimum wage to $15.00 an hour depending on the employer. With experience and continued education, graduates of the early childhood education program may pursue a variety of positions within the field resulting in higher salary ranges.


WA Department of Early Learning - Washington State Professional Development System - If you care for and teach young children professionally or you are interested in a career with children and families in Washington State.

WA State Early Childhood Career Planning Portal - Features early childhood career options with "day-in-the-life" descriptions and position qualifications. Users can easily browse college degrees and certificates, connect directly with college advisors and begin planning careers and education goals. Users are also able to navigate the site independently, with an advisor or an Early Achievers coach.

All course offerings are subject to change. The college cannot guarantee class offerings, designated times or specific instructors - as funding levels and student interest may affect whether or not an offering is available.

Click on the course title to view course description.

Class Credits
Class Credits

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer my ECED credits/degree from SFCC to four-year institutions?

Students interested in transferring are encouraged to contact their school of choice for more information about transfer options. Students may also consult an ECED faculty and/or staff member for additional information and to determine the best pathway for transferring.

When are classes available?

The ECED program at SFCC is a fully online certificate and degree program. Optional hybrid sections (courses in which some traditional face-to-face "seat time" has been replaced by online learning activities) may be available.

How do I get registered?

Contact the Testing Center about how to get started at SFCC at (509) 533-3500 or Apply Online now.

Contact (509) 533-3148 with any other questions.

Scholarships for Early Learning Professionals

Click on any of the links below for more information on the scholarship of your choice.