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?

Your College & Career Navigator (CCN) is your "go-to person" ready to help you get started at CLC.

Your CCN guides you through the admission process, helps you choose your academic program, enroll in classes and connect you with resources.

Talk to a CCN

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.

*Cost is estimated based on recommended pathway credit hours. This includes in-district tuition and other fees, such as books and materials before financial aid is applied, as well as grants, loans or scholarships. There are many opportunities for financial assistance at CLC. Learn more about Cost of Attendance.

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

Take the next step...

Be debt-free at CLC

CLC has some of the lowest tuition around. Financial aid and scholarships are available—even for working adults.

Explore careers

Discover majors and career paths to complement and extend your intuitive interests and abilities.

Request info

Your education is a big investment of your time, money and attention. Gather all the info you need.

Get started

Start your application today—it’s free and easy to complete. When you’re ready, we’re ready to help you take the next step.