A fun and rewarding career awaits you in early childhood education! In this role, you will use play, art, music, language, and educational tools to help children birth through age eight develop to their full potential. Through a combination of classroom study and field experiences in actual child care settings, you will nurture children of varying abilities and backgrounds, maintain safe and healthy child care environments, and communicate effectively with families. Program includes child development, guiding behavior, and curriculum planning, as well as assessment and regulations in the industry.
Opportunities abound in this ever-growing field with positions available as professional nannies, in child care centers, as teachers and directors, or in schools as teacher assistants. You can also continue your education and earn a birth through grade three teaching degree!
To view the Early Childhood Education program’s required disclosure on professional licensure, please click here.
Estimated Program Cost
Early Childhood Education
This program will cost about $9,500* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
- Living responsibly
- Refining professionalism
- Cultivating passion
- Apply child development theory to practice
- Cultivate relationships with children, family, and the community
- Assess child growth and development
- Use best practices in teaching and learning
- Demonstrate professionalism
- Integrate health, safety, and nutrition practices
To enroll in the Early Childhood Education program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program's Essential Functions, begin the background check process, and provide proof of your Health Record. You can find links to these documents below. The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.
- Early Childhood Essential Functions
- Early Childhood Health Record
- Early Childhood DCF Background Check Request Form
- Early Childhood Background Check
- Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment with an Admissions Coach to complete your Intent to Enroll form.
Software and Technology
Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.
If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.
- Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
- Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
- Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.
- Western uses the Blackboard Learning Management System. Some courses may use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to meet and work virtually. Visit our website for guidance on how to access and use these tools.
- Office 365 (available to download for free once you have a student email)
- Recommended web browsers: Chrome or Firefox
For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.
- Western has several computer labs available. Visit our website to find open hours and locations on the La Crosse campus. Or find information on how to access resources on our Regional Locations web page.
- The Learning Commons has computers, webcams, and microphones available for in-house use. Our librarians recommend checking your local public library for computer access on the weekends. Staff members can also provide information on free, off-campus Wi-Fi spots. Contact them at LearningCommons@westerntc.edu or call 608-785-9198.
- Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.
Our Health and Public Safety programs are required to report additional information to prospective students, including certification exams, licensure, program completion rates, etc. You can find this information in the document below:
Program Chair, Early Childhood Education