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Student at daycare

Early Childhood Education

About

About the Program

Housed in the Social Science Division, this program will prepare you to teach young children in a day-care center or pre-school.  You may choose either transfer (preparing you to continue your studies toward a bachelor’s degree) or career program options (qualifying you for immediate employment after graduating).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is This Program for You?

In general, students who are successful in this program, share traits like these:

  • Have strong competence in language arts and both written and oral communication, as well as everyday math and technology skills.
  • Are caring, nurturing, patient, flexible, enthusiastic, energetic and have a sense of humor.
  • Like to multi-task and think on their feet.
  • Open to working with diverse, multicultural populations and have a respect for differences in socio-economic levels.
  • Commit to continuous professional development.

Careers

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for kindergarten and elementary school teachers will grow at about the average rate for all professions between 2012-22; jobs for preschool teachers will grow faster than average. The median annual salary for for K-12 teachers in 2012 was $53,090; the median annual salary for preschool teachers was $27,130.

Programs

Degrees & Certificates

Transfer Degrees

  • Early Childhood Education A.A.

Career Program Degree & Certificates

  • Early Childhood Education A.A.S.
  • Administration and Leadership Certificate
  • Home Based Child Care Certificate
  • Infant-Toddler Specialist Certificate
  • School-Aged Child Care Certificate

Learn more about the program options.

Why Choose CLC?

Why Choose CLC?

  • Our instructors have worked for decades in early childhood education as teachers and in other capacities. They balance theoretical principles with “real life” experience.
  • CLC’s program focuses on developmentally appropriate teaching content and methods.
  • Our courses emphasize a total curriculum including creative arts, language and literacy and math and science.
  • Our A.A.S. program includes the components, benchmarks and practical experiences required for the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Level Four Infant-Toddler and Early Childhood credentials as well as the opportunity to earn the Level One Illinois Director credential.

Early Childhood Education

Diane Wolter, department chair and instructor, introduces the program. "At the College of Lake County we have several different certificate and degree programs that students can enroll in, to enter a career in early childhood education or go down a pathway to a four-year degree in early childhood education and an Illinois teaching certificate. There are a wide variety of career options in early childhood: working in public and private institutions, teaching preschool, full and half day childcare programs or with an agency such as Head Start."

Read the video transcript.