In this section... (Click to Open)

Early Childhood Education

What Will I Learn?

Make a difference in the lives of young children, their families and society as a whole. Become an early childhood education professional. At Heartland you enjoy hands-on experience through observation and interaction at the Child Development Lab. Your classes prepare you to assess children's unique needs and then design and implement developmentally appropriate practices to help them flourish.

Fast Facts

As a future educator, you'll want to join TEACH-HCC's student education organization. Enjoy unique service learning initiatives that include helping local children with disabilities as they perform in theatre productions through the Penguin Project.

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.*

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

Your HCC Options

There are different paths into this field. Consider your career goals and personal interests, and then choose the option that best meets your needs.

1. Complete the HCC - ISU Early Childhood Practitioner Preparation Partnership (ECP3):

Associate in Arts - Concentration in Early Childhood Education

If you chose this path you'll earn:

  • an Associate in Arts (AA) degree with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Heartland
  • credit for early childhood education courses that articulate into Illinois State University's ECP3 program
  • a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University with a 0-4 teaching certificate
  • the Gateways Level III Early Childhood Credential

2. Earn your Heartland degree and transfer to a four-year college or university:

Associate in Arts - Concentration in Early Childhood Education

If you want to complete the first two years of study leading to a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at another four year institution in Illinois, an AA with a concentration in Early Childhood Education is ideal.

3. Earn your Heartland degree and transition directly into the workforce:

Associate in Applied Science - Early Childhood Education

If your goal is to have your own classroom or work as a childcare center director, choose the AAS in Early Childhood Education option.

Associate in Applied Science - Early Childhood Paraprofessional

4. Earn your certificate or industry credential at heartland:

Early Childhood Education Level II Credential

Early Childhood Education Level III Credential

Early Childhood Education Level IV Credential

Infant-Toddler Level II Credential

Infant-Toddler Level III Credential

Infant-Toddler Level IV Credential

If you plan to enter the workforce immediately, consider the Early Childhood Education Credential Sequence or the Early Childhood Education Infant-Toddler Credential Sequence. Both offer you a way to earn Level II, III and IV credentials.

Early Childhood Education Questions

Contact the Social Sciences Department

Early Childhood Practitioner Partnership Program at Heartland Community College