The Early Childhood Education program prepares students for careers working with young children in a variety of settings. Students who successfully complete the program requirements are competent to assume a position of responsibility in early childhood education.
Coursework introduces students to the early childhood field and includes child growth and development, guidance techniques, curriculum planning and assessment, infant and toddler care, and health, safety and nutrition in the context of families and communities.
Required coursework includes participation in the Des Moines Area Community College Child Development Center. 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.
When coursework is completed, students will assume positions as assistant teachers or early childhood professionals in a variety of settings such as child care centers, preschools, child development homes, and public and private schools working with infants and toddlers, preschoolers or school-age children. Coursework from the Early Childhood certificate of specialization transfers into the ECE diploma; coursework from the diploma may be applied to the ECE AAS degree.
Current health and immunization records are required for each student. 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 lab and field experiences. Students unable to complete these classes will not receive a degree in Early Childhood Education.