If you enjoy working with young children and want to nurture their growth and development, a certificate or degree in early childhood education could be a good fit for you.
In this program, you will study the social/emotional, physical/motor, language/literacy, cognitive, and creative development of children from birth through age 8. Courses are also available for teachers of school-age children, ages 5 through 14. The fully online program includes opportunities to work with children through specialized pathways in infant/toddler, family child care, school-age care, administration, and home visitor/family engagement and provides practicums and other on-the job learning opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful in the diverse early care and education field.
Whether you want to become a teacher of young children, own/operate a childcare center or family childcare home, work with school-age children, or as a family support specialist, this program will help provide the professional preparation you need to pursue a career in the education and care of young children and supports further study and transfer opportunities to four-year programs.
Below is a list of scholarship opportunities for early learning professionals:
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. You may complete your work with children in a variety of early learning settings including:
This broad exposure to a variety of settings with children, under direct supervision of a master teacher, is one of the program's strengths.
A Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) background clearance and proof of negative TB test will be required prior to a practicum placement with children. See Background Check Requirements information below.
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:
It is highly recommended students successfully complete the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) background check BEFORE enrolling in the program’s practicum courses. The DCYF background clearance process may take considerable time to fully complete and there are some criminal charges that can disqualify individuals from being allowed to work with children. Students cannot earn a degree in the ECED program unless they are able to complete ECED courses with practicum hours which require direct contact with children.
Washington State law directs DCYF 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 please visit DCYF’s background check requirements page.
ECED& 100 — Child Care Basics — 3.0
This course is 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 responsiveness, community resources, guidance, health/safety/nutrition and professional practices.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 103 — College Success — 3.0
This course provides an opportunity for students entering early childhood education to learn about services and strategies to help them become successful college students. It emphasizes self-assessment, goal-setting, effective study habits, campus resources and education planning.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 104 — Early Achiever's Success Course — 1.0
As an Early Achiever's (EA) Scholar, you have the opportunity to improve your skills as an early childhood educator. This course covers online learning, EA requirements and resources, and planning a successful path to completion.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 105 — Introduction to Early Childhood Education — 5.0
Explore the foundations of early childhood education. Examine theories defining the field, issues, trends, best practices, and program models. Observe children, professionals, and programs in action.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 107 — Health, Safety, Nutrition — 5.0
Introduction to implementation of equitable health, safety and nutrition standards for the growing child in group care. Focus on federal Child Care Block Grant funding (CCDF) requirements, WA state licensing and Head Start Performance standards. Develop skills necessary to keep children healthy & safe, report abuse & neglect, and connect families to community resources.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 118 — Early Childhood Education Seminar — 0.5-11.0 Credits
These short-term, skill-building seminars provide students with training options for the Early Childhood Profession. Content focuses on a variety of aspects of early childhood education. Seminars can be taken prior to ECED coursework or to meet one-time and/or ongoing training requirements. These seminars address WA State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 120 — Practicum-Nurturing Relationships — 2.0
In an early learning setting, engage in establishing nurturing, supportive relationships with all children and professional peers. Focus on children’s health & safety, promoting growth & development, and creating a culturally responsive environment.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 132 — Infant/Toddler Care — 3.0
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.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 133 — Practicum: Infant/Toddler Care — 2.0
In an infant or toddler childcare and education program, apply best practices for responsive, nurturing, respectful, and culturally-retentive care. 66 practicum hours required in an approved infant or toddler program.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 134 — Family Childcare Management — 3.0
Learn how to manage a family childcare program. Topics include: licensing requirements, record-keeping, relationship building, communication strategies, guiding behavior, and promoting growth and development.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 138 — Home Visitor / Family Engagement — 3.0
Plan and provide home visits and group activities. Promote secure parent-child relationships. Support families to provide high-quality early learning opportunities embedded in everyday routines and experiences.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 139 — Administration of ECE — 3.0
Develop administrative skills required to develop, operate, manage and improve early childhood education and care programs. Acquire basic business management skills. Explore resources and supports for meeting Washington State licensing and professional NAEYC standards.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 160 — Curriculum Development — 5.0
Investigate learning theory, program planning, tools and methods for curriculum development promoting language, fine/gross motor, social-emotional, cognitive and creative skills and growth in children birth through age 8 utilizing developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practice.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 170 — Learning Environments — 3.0
This class focuses on the adult’s role in designing, evaluating, and improving indoor and outdoor environments that ensure quality learning, nurturing experiences, and optimize the development of young children.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 180 — Language and Literacy — 3.0
Teaching strategies for language acquisition and literacy skill development are examined at each developmental stage (birth-age 8) through the four interrelated areas of speaking, listening, writing, and reading.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED& 190 — Observation and Assessment — 3.0
Collect and record observation and assessment data in order to plan for and support the child, the family, the group, and the community. Practice reflection techniques, summarizing conclusions, and communicating findings.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 191 — Practicum: Observation and Assessment — 2.0
In an early care and education setting, apply best practices by observing and assessing young children. 66 practicum hours required in an approved program.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 282 — Practicum I — 5.0
Practicum in Early Childhood Education is an opportunity for Early Childhood Education (ECED) students to have a guided learning experience in a professional agency that provides services to children and families. It is expected that learning experiences and projects at the practicum site will provide students with the opportunity to use and implement theories and practices learned in other ECED classes during a total of 133 practicum hours in an approved setting. Prerequisite: ECED& 120 or ECED 102View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ECED 283 — Practicum II — 5.0
This final practicum reinforces the skills learned throughout the program and provides an opportunity to integrate skills and competencies into an individual philosophy and methodology of Early Childhood care and education. This course extends the experiences of the earlier practicums, requiring participation in planning and implementing all classroom routines during a total of 133 practicum in an approved setting. Prerequisite: ECED& 120 or ECED 102 and ECED 282.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
EDUC& 115 — Child Development — 5.0
Build foundation for explaining how children develop in all domains, conception through early adolescence. Explore various developmental theories, methods for documenting growth, and impact of brain development. Topics addressed: stress, trauma, culture, race, gender identity, socioeconomic status, family status, language, and health issues.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
EDUC& 130 — Guiding Behavior — 3.0
Examine the principles and theories promoting social competence in young children and creating safe learning environments. Develop skills promoting effective interactions, providing positive individual guidance, and enhancing group experiences.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
EDUC& 136 — School-Age Care — 3.0
Develop skills to provide developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant activities/care for children ages 5-12 in a variety of settings. Topics include: implementation of curriculum, preparation of environments, building relationships, guiding cognitive and social emotional development, and community outreach.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
EDUC& 150 — Child, Family, Community — 3.0
Integrate the family and community contexts in which a child develops. Explore cultures and demographics of families in society, community resources, strategies for involving families in the education of their child, and tools for effective communication.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
When are classes available?
The ECED program at SFCC is a fully online certificate and degree program.
What class(es) should I consider taking first?
What if I have taken classes for credit at other institutions or I already have my CDA?
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.
Will I get to work with children while taking classes?
Some ECED courses include an application and/or practicum component. See Practicum Information and Background Check Requirements above in the Detailed Information section.
How do I get started?
Before you start the application process, look through Become a Student to learn the different options for becoming a student at Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC).
Contact 509-533-3148 with any other questions.