Associate in Applied Science - Early Childhood Education
Associate in Applied Science-Transfer - Early Childhood Education
Certificate - State Early Childhood Education
Online LearningSpokane Falls Community College
Certificate - State Initial Early Childhood Education
Financial Aid Eligible
Yes. Read more about Financial Aid.
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - Administration
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - Family Child Care
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - General
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - Home Visitor/Family Engagement
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - Infant Toddler Care
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - Outdoor Learning
Certificate - State Short Early Childhood Education - School-Age Care
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.
Want more information about the program, the Early Achievers Scholarship, or how to apply?
Students will apply specific knowledge and skills in the eight content areas of the Washington State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals.
You and your advisor will use this program map as a starting point in creating your own personal education plan, customized to your needs. We meet you where you are and help you reach your goals.
Choose program map:
Early Childhood Ed AAS map
Total Credits: 86 - 92
Leah Ruiz is excited to be part the Pathways Specialist who works with students in the Education, Social, and Behavioral Health Pathway. She works toward inspiring and encouraging college students throughout their academic career. Being a first-generation student herself, it is her goal to help students realize that their life story has given them strengths they may not know they already possess, have the potential to overcome obstacles and successfully reach their goals and dreams. During her years as a graduate student in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Washington State University, she completed several publications and worked with WSU Coalition for Women Students, which works to create awareness of injustices for people of all genders and foster a safe and inclusive environment for all students. In her spare time, she likes to read books on personal growth and the juvenile justice system. She also enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, and tennis.
My passion is my love of teaching and learning. I have devoted most of my adult life to working with children and families as a teacher at Head Start, a family childcare provider, and a public school teacher. As a graduate of SFCC, I am thrilled to be back at the place I began my college career. After earning my AA degree from SFCC, I headed off to Eastern Washington University. There I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a dual Master's Degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education and College Instruction.
I began working in the field of early childhood when I was in high school. I volunteered at a local Head Start program and was hired as a preschool teacher the year I graduated. After leaving Head Start, I continued to work with children and families as a family childcare provider for over 18 years. Upon the completion of my college coursework, I had the opportunity to teach at our local elementary and middle schools. From there, I began working with the State of Washington as a family childcare licensor and adjunct faculty member at SFCC. It wasn’t long before SFCC became my full-time pursuit.
I have enjoyed being a member of the SFCC faculty since I first began teaching in 1995. At SFCC I found a supportive and challenging learning environment for both students and faculty. I consider it an honor and a privilege to share in the journey students take in the pursuit of their career goals and personal dreams.
lodie Goodman has been a part of the SFCC community since September 2000. lodie was a French and film instructor and was the Chair of the Communication Arts & Modern Languages Department. After 18 years of teaching and advising students across the campus, she stepped up to the new role as Dean of Social Science, Business, and Human Services. She enjoys the opportunity to collaboratively work with faculty, staff, and students to advance the mission of SFCC. A couple of her passions are mentoring and being actively involved in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging as well as championing professional development for her faculty and staff. Whatever is needed to better serve our students and community, particularly behind the scenes, lodie is game.
In her free time, lodie enjoys spending time with her family including her 4 German Shepherds, teaching and practicing yoga, writing, working in her organic lavender field, and collecting rocks.
Dr Cathy Meier’s Education: AS Early Childhood Education BS Elementary Education, MEd Early Childhood Education, PhD in Education with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education.
Dr. Cathy entered the ECE workforce in the 1980’s. She held positions as a childcare provider, infant-toddler caregiver, preschool teacher, elementary teacher, director, and owner. During the 1990s, she became a trainer and mentor for adults in the ECE field. Dr Cathy entered the higher ed arena in 2005 and has worked at the community college and university levels. She is proud of her contribution to the lives of young children: preparing teachers for the classrooms.
Kim Rector joined SFCC as the Early Achievers Scholarship Point of Contact in 2019. She enjoys supporting scholars earning Early Childhood Education credentials and working closely with the ECED program team. Prior to SFCC, Kim worked in specialist roles in P-12 and postsecondary education as well as child/family support roles in non-profit and military settings. She enjoys camping, kayaking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
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.
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.
In Washington State (DCYF), early learning professionals who need to meet employment requirements or want to further their education have a clear path to follow: stackable certificates/degrees are made up of common courses available statewide. These courses will build on one another in a sequential manner leading to certificate and degree completion.
AAS-T Articulation Pathways:
How do I get started?
Before you start the application process, look through Getting Started to learn the different options for becoming a student at Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC).
How are courses offered?
The ECED program at SFCC is a fully online certificate and degree program.
When are courses available?
Courses are offered every quarter, including summer. More information can be found on the ECED Prospective Students website. Scroll to ECED Program Information section and click on the ECED Course Schedule.
Will I get to work with children while taking classes?
Some ECED courses include an application and/or practicum component. These hours are in addition to time devoted to your coursework each quarter and equal approximately 2-13 hours per week depending on course requirements. See Special Application Requirements tab.
What if I have taken classes for credit at other institutions or completed community-based training?
Note: SFCC ECED program policy requires students transferring credits from other schools to successfully complete 50% of the required certificate/degree credits at SFCC, including ECED/EDUC credits.
Can I transfer my ECED credits, certificates/degrees from SFCC to four-year institutions?
Students who complete the Associate in Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) in Early Childhood Education at SFCC have transfer opportunities that include Eastern Washington University BAE PK-3 and Washington State University BA Human Development. Students are encouraged to work closely with an ECED faculty and/or staff member for additional information to determine the best pathway for transferring.
I still have more questions. Who can I contact?
Our Guided Pathway Specialist (GPS) can help you navigate registration and/or find answers to your remaining questions. Please reach out to:
Building 16, Room 133D
Have a question? Let's hear it.
Building 16, Room 133D
Early Achievers Scholarship Point of Contact
Google Voice: 208-820-4250
Virtual Lounge Mondays: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Zoom password: 066792