Early Childhood Education
Certificate Program

Early Childhood Education

The youngest minds teach us the most

Enroll in Certificate View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

Teach our youngest to love learning.

In this two-track ECE program entry-level students gain a strong foundation in child growth and development, literacy, and age-appropriate teaching strategies, developmentally based curriculum, and current research and trends. You will develop skills to teach and supervise infants, toddlers, and young children while working toward a Child Development permit.

Early Childhood Education certificate program objectives

  • Develop age-appropriate curriculum for the ECE classroom
  • Understand social, emotional, physical and cognitive development from prenatal stages through middle childhood
  • Promote oral language abilities through active use of books, poetry, dramatic play and group discussion
  • Decode healthcare policies and procedures in the child-care setting
  • Communicate with and develop effective relationships with parents.

Required Credits: Total Required: 10–13 courses/35 units. Take 9 required courses (32 units) and 1–3 elective credit courses (3 units). End with certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Required Courses
ECE 1: Development in Early Childhood 4.0 + +
ECE 2: Introduction to Teaching Young Children 3.0
ECE 3: Curriculum Development in Early Childhood Programs 4.0 + +
ECE 4: The Young Child in the Family and Community 4.0
ECE 5: Positive Guidance and Discipline for the Young Child 3.0 + +
ECE 6: Culture and Diversity in the Early Childhood Classroom 3.0
ECE 7: Practicum in Early Childhood Education 5.0
ECE 8: Child Health, Safety and Nutrition 3.0
ECE 9: Language and Literacy for the Young Child 3.0
2. Elective Courses
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Classroom 3.0
ECE: Brain Development in Early Childhood 1.0
ECE: CPR and First Aid 0.0
ECE: Creative Arts for the Young Child (Preschool Through Grade 3) 3.0 + +
ECE: Infant/Toddler Growth and Development 2.0 +
ECE: Principles of Infant/Toddler Caregiving 2.0 + +
Experiential Learning through Dramatics, Movement, and Play 3.0
Math Development in Young Children 2.0 +
Science Play: Inquiry-Based Learning Made Easy 1.0 +
3. Required Certificate Review
Early Childhood Education Certificate Completion Fee None

Requisite Knowledge

There are no requirements to join the program.

Professional Development

Child Development Permit. Our program fulfills the qualifications for teaching in private and state-funded child care centers. You can complete Title 22 and Title 5 requirements for child development permits in this program. Please visit the California Department of Education for more information.

Program Chair

Melissa Le, chair

MELISSA LE, B.A, Multi-Subject Teaching Credential (MSTC), has more than 23 years of experience working with infants, preschoolers, and children in K-6 classrooms. She has worked in public and private school settings and examined a variety of learning programs such as Challenger, Montessori, High Scope, and college-run preschools including De Anza College, San Jose State University, and Stanford University. As a K-6 afterschool program supervisor, she developed lesson plans and curriculum to meet the needs of diverse populations and students with special needs. Le has extensive experience mentoring emerging teachers in the SJSU and Stanford student-teacher programs, as well as beginning teachers completing their two-year BTSA programs. Her expertise is in identifying the needs of her students, both children and adults, and helping them reach their full potential.

Enroll in Program

You are invited to declare candidacy in your certificate program as soon as possible so you can lock in the curriculum requirements and not be impacted by any subsequent program changes. Once you’ve declared candidacy, you have five years to complete the program.

Enroll Now

Certificate Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860

Envelope extension@ucsc.edu

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