Early Childhood Educator

Whether you want to be a teacher or just enjoy working with young children, the Early Childhood Educator program at Collin College could be the perfect starting point for you.

Early Childhood Educator certificate and degree programs are designed to prepare students to study at four-year universities and for entry-level positions working with young children and their families. The program emphasizes a developmental approach to promote the physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth of the children. Students acquire knowledge and skills that prepare them to create developmentally appropriate, nurturing environments.

The Child Development Associate (CDA) program provides performance-based training of childcare professionals who work with children from birth through age 8.

Occupational Skills Awards (OSA) are nine-hour awards that enhance students’ marketability. These awards are also designed as a stepping stone toward earning certificates or the Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education.

Coursework is applicable as in-service training for teachers, administrators, nannies and family day home providers.

If you plan to transfer to a college or university, be sure to check with Collin College academic advisors and the degree requirements of the intended transfer college before beginning this program to verify course degree applicability. If you plan to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Child Development, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) accepts Collin College’s AAS-Early Childhood Educator. Check with an advisor at TWU for more information.  Additional colleges also accept Collin College courses in early childhood education; check with individual colleges for their requirements.

Program Requirements
1. Enroll in a Collin child development course.
2. Within the first two weeks of their child development course, students must complete required paperwork to begin lab observations. A copy of a negative tuberculosis test result may be required. Continuing students may need to re-submit tuberculosis results every year.
3. Complete and sign a student record form as a contract to ensure the following:

• Verification that the student has read and agrees to abide by the Texas Minimum Standards for child care centers
• Verification that the student has read and agrees to follow the laboratory student guidelines
• Students must undergo and pass a criminal background history check by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
• Provide a notarized affidavit that confidentiality and professional discretion will be observed at all times
• Personal release for videotaping for instructional purposes
• Complete a Degree Plan (two-part document found on Collin’s website under Getting Started/Admissions/Forms or in the Admissions Office) and submit to an advisor

It is the student's responsibility to keep all information current.

If your program requires a criminal background check, your placement in a required clinical site, cooperative, practicum, internship, and/or licensure/certification opportunity may be impacted. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your program director and check with your licensing/certifying entity, if any, to determine your status.

Also see Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT).

Program Options

AAS – Early Childhood Educator (0 - 8 Years)

Certificate Level 1 – Early Childhood Educator (0 - 8 Years)

Certificate Level 1 – Child Development Associate (CDA)

OSA – Early Childhood Administrator

OSA – Child Development Associate (CDA)

OSA – Special Educator (0 - 8 Years)

Department Website