Early Childhood Level 3

Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Credential
Career Certificate

Learn nuanced care for young children

With an Early Childhood Level 3 certificate, you practice observational assessment and study how it informs curriculum instruction. Your coursework prepares you to obtain the Level 3 Early Childhood Illinois Gateways to Opportunity credential.

Whether you work in a public or private childcare center, your courses prepare you for responsibilities such as:

  • observation and assessment of young children’s education
  • development of children from birth through age 8
  • problem solving
  • parent communication

What can you do with a Level 3 Certificate in Early Childhood Education?

You value using play to encourage children’s self-esteem. With Level 3 Certificate Early Childhood Education (E.C.E.) courses, you build the skills to achieve this goal. Practice taking a child-centered approach to guidance and early social development.

Start a career right away in one of the following roles:

  • infant teacher
  • toddler teacher
  • preschool teacher
  • paraprofessional
  • childcare lead teacher


  • Illinois Gateways to Opportunity

    Coursework is aligned with state-recognized requirements. 
  • Stackable Credentials

    Earn and learn as you go with stackable credentials.
  • 100% Online

    Can be completed 100% online.
  • Financial Aid/Scholarships Available

    Based on need and/or achievement. Explore ways to pay for college.
  • Career Certificate

    Earn a career certificate in 1 year or less to refine your skills into an in-demand career.
  • Program Length: 1 Year

    Full-time students finish in 1 year.

Career Outlook

You know an education is important, but the career you get after graduating is even more important. We’re working to identify the most relevant career data for this program. Until then, you can explore the latest career opportunities in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Need help?

A College & Career Navigator (CCN) is ready to answer your questions and assist with your application, academic program selection, class enrollment and connecting you with resources as needed, making your journey at CLC smoother.

Talk to a College & Career Navigator

Recommended Pathway

This pathway serves as a guide for students to complete the degree or certificate assuming full-time enrollment (registered in 12 or more credit hours per semester) with Semester 1 typically representing a Fall term. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their College and Career Navigator (CCN) to identify coursework that will meet degree requirements based on individual academic goals. For a more inclusive list of course options, see the college catalog.

Icon Key

  • Credit for prior learning available
  • Dual credit options available
  • Global citizenship
  • Online/Virtual options available
  • Course Code Course Title Credits Course Highlights
    CLC 120 2
    ECE 121 3
    ECE 124 3
    ECE 141 3
    ENG 121 3
    CMM 121 3
    • Course Code CLC 120
      Course Title
      Credits 2
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 121
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 124
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 141
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ENG 121
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code CMM 121
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
  • Course Code Course Title Credits Course Highlights
    ECE 220 3
    ECE 223 3
    ECE 229 3
    ECE 241 3
    ECE 242 3
    • Course Code ECE 220
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 223
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 229
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 241
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights
    • Course Code ECE 242
      Course Title
      Credits 3
      Course Highlights

Total Credit Hours


Female student taking notes in class

Early Childhood Education at CLC

Get the bigger picture

This certificate is just one possible way to study early childhood education. Get the bigger picture—degrees, credentials and extra options.

View the Early Childhood Education program overview

Frequently asked questions

*Cost includes tuition and other fees, including books and materials before financial aid is applied, such as grants, loans or scholarships. There are many opportunities for financial assistance at CLC. Learn more about Cost of Attendance.

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