The Early Childhood Education certificate prepares the student for an entry-level position in a child care program. This program meets the requirements for clock hours of formal child care education required for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Upon completion of the certificate program, the successful student will be able to practice appropriate guidance techniques, recognize and carry out appropriate activities and assessment for young children, maintain a healthy and safe setting, and be able to communicate effectively with children and families.
Essential skills needed to successfully complete the required lab courses include the ability to maintain awareness of active children in a group setting, to demonstrate stamina while engaging in multiple tasks and activities with children, to respond quickly and appropriately to children's changing needs and to keep children safe. In addition, DHS criminal history record checks and fingerprinting will be required. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse will prevent students from participating in the required lab experience. Students unable to complete these classes will not receive a certificate in Early Childhood Education.
Courses in the certificate program are also required for the Early Childhood Education diploma and AAS degree . Students who successfully complete the certificate may choose to apply these courses to either a diploma or Associate degree in Early Childhood Education.
To complete the ECE 343 Guidance Lab online, students must be working with children ages 2.5-5 in a group setting for at least 6 months; otherwise, they will be assigned to a DMACC location.