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 Spring TBD
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
4. Also of Interest
Online Learning Design for Beginners 1.0 CEUs

Certificate Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860

Envelope extension@ucsc.edu

Professional Development

Child Development Permit

Our program fulfills the qualifications for teaching in private and California 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.

Licensure and Certification Policy

Professional licensure or certification is mandatory to practice in this field of instruction.

Please see our Licensure and Certification Policy to learn more.

Requisite Knowledge

There are no requirements to join the program.

Advisory Board

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.

Declaring Candidacy

You can enroll in a certificate program any time during your studies.

Once you create your student account, you can enroll in a certificate program. Although you can enroll in a program at any time, the benefit of enrolling early is that it locks in your certificate requirements. This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you.

  • You must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.

You have a total of five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program.

All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within a five-year window. The clock begins on the first day of your first course in the certificate program. For example, if you started a course on Sept. 5, 2017, you would have to complete all of the required units in this certificate by Sept. 4, 2022.

  • Enrolling in a certificate program does not trigger the beginning of the five-year window. It begins the first day of the first course that applies to a certificate program.
  • The Certificate Completion Review process does not have to occur within the five-year timeframe.

Grade Requirements

Please note that only letter grades of C- or higher may be applied to a certificate, and in some programs, students may have more stringent requirements. Students in most employer- and government-sponsored payment programs, such as workforce development, as well as international students on F-1 visas, need to maintain a B average to meet their requirements. Personal Financial Planning students have additional grade requirements for individual courses to attain a certificate.

See Grading and Credits Policy for further information.

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