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Early Childhood Education
The Early Childhood Education (ECED) Program embraces the concept that children’s learning is more meaningful while engaging in classroom activities. Students explore concepts supported by best practice and theory in ECED through the creation of hands on learning experiences and curriculum that meet the needs of young children ages 0-8 yrs. The ECED program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC has high standards which focus on providing high quality educational and developmental experiences for children birth through age 8.

The Early Childhood Education program focuses on early child growth and development including adult-child relationships. Emphasis is placed on the development of skills and techniques for providing appropriate environments and care for young children. Instruction is provided in the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive areas of early childhood. Students will develop competencies through classroom instruction, observation, and participation in early education and care settings.

Whether students are engaging in on-campus lab experiences, or participating in community learning opportunities, students have many opportunities to practice and analyze their emerging skills through observation and hands-on work with community mentors and faculty.  In practicum experiences, students engage in in-depth exploration of concepts, analyze new-found knowledge by practice with groups of children, as well as fellow students and community members. Students build their sense of "community" by participating in various service learning opportunities embedded in course content as well as various field experience opportunities.  These experiences provide students with opportunities to engage with community leaders on issues related to Early Childhood Education.

Our Graduates

An associate degree graduate is able to work as a lead teacher in a community based early childhood education center, a director of a community program, serve as a family-life specialist, and work as a teacher’s aide in the public schools for all age levels, including special needs, etc.  Associate degree graduates can also transfer to many of our four-year partners.  To find out more about transfer opportunities in early childhood education, click here.

Transfer Partners

Ivy Tech has several transfer partners for the Early Childhood Education associate degree, including Anderson University, Ball State University, Indiana University East, Indiana Wesleyan University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Martin University, Purdue University North Central, Purdue University Calumet, Saint Mary of the Woods College, Walden University, and Western Governor’s University. Talk to your transfer advocate for more information about transfer opportunities!

Degrees & Certificates

Please select from our list of certificates, technical certificates, and degrees below for class and location information. More information is available on each degree and certificate option in the dropdown above.


Early Childhood Administration
(21 credit hours = 1-2 semesters)

Child Development Associate (CDA)
(18 credit hours = 2 semesters)

Technical Certificate

Technical Certificate
(30 credit hours = 2 semesters)


Associate of Applied Science
(60 credit hours = 4 semesters)

Associate of Applied Science - Online
(60 credit hours = 4 semesters)

Transfer Degree

Associate of Science T-SAP 
(60 credit hours = 4 semesters)

Gainful Employment Information

NOTE: The number of credits required for a degree or certificate is based on students who are program-ready and does not include College Prep courses. Availability of degrees and certificates varies by campus.

Program Locations

Early Childhood Education programs are offered at the Ivy Tech campuses above.