Early Childhood Education

“The great thing about the ECE program at UCSC Extension is the fast-paced format, the quality of the instructors and materials. There are also good discussions and convenient sharing of information with classmates—many of whom are experienced teachers and directors of other centers. Their insights are valuable. ”
Haidee Lim, Alumna, Early Childhood Education Certificate Program


The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at UCSC Extension prepares preschool teachers and operators to manage the unique challenges they face in day care centers in the region. Students in our ECE program benefit from a full range of University of California-certified course work to meet the needs and requirements of two levels of expertise. Student in our entry-level ECE program gain training and background to understand child growth and development, strategies for effective classroom teaching, developmentally based curriculum, and current research and trends. Learn from instructors who are among the top teachers and administrators of early childhood education in the greater Bay Area and network with career professionals and educational leaders in early childhood education and day care service. This is an excellent program for teachers with little or no background in early childhood education, assistant teachers, aides and parents interested in child development.

Program Format

Courses are offered in classroom and online.

Credit Required

35 units minimum

Program Duration

Most courses take between 4 - 6 weeks to complete. Certificate, if pursued full-time, can take between 9 months and one year

Approximate Program Cost

$ 5,200

(Program costs are higher for F-1 students.)