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Early Childhood Education

Students desiring a career in the field of Early Childhood Education may choose different levels of education to help them attain their particular goals: a one year certificate, an Associate of Applied Science degree, or a Bachelor of Science degree from a four-year college or university. The two-year degree program at DC3 involves the student in traditional lecture classes and direct practical experiences in Early Care and Education settings.

State licensing standards based on combinations of educational background and prior experience determine minimum requirements for entry into direct Early Childhood Education careers. Education from DC3 allows a student to meet and exceed these requirements. Students who have completed the requirements for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education are eligible to apply for program director approval by the Kansas State Department of Health and Environment for Early Care and Education programs of various sizes.

Students may also complete a certificate program in Early Childhood Education. The certificate program is recommended for students who are not seeking an academic or technical degree and do not intend to transfer to a four-year institution. Completion of the certificate program requires 31 credit hours. Speak with the ECE program advisor to complete the hours for the Early Childhood Education certificate.

Career Opportunities

  • Head Start teacher/family advocate/home visitor
  • Preschool lead teacher/assistant teacher
  • Child Development Center teacher
  • Early Childhood program director
  • Family child care provider
  • Owner/operator of an early childhood program
  • Paraprofessional in an early childhood classroom
  • Nanny

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Course Requirements

Education courses can also be used to meet the 37 technical hour requirement. Students transferring to a four-year colleges have a different program of study based on the courses needed for the college they will be attending.

Kansas law requires that persons providing direct care to children must be screened for prior felony offenses and child abuse complaints, and those failing this screening are prohibited from providing child care. Additionally, child care providers must have an annual tuberculin test to work with children. Students enrolling in DC3 Child Care practicum courses must agree to this screening and provide evidence of a current negative tuberculin skin test before being allowed to have direct contact with children. Students who fail the criminal/child abuse screening will be removed from their practicum sites and withdrawn from the practicum course.

Find your plan of study in theĀ 2019-20 Course Catalog.

Degrees Available

  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Certificate


Lorna Ford

Professor of Early Childhood Ed