Early Childhood Development

Pine Technical & Community College's Early Childhood Development sequence of programs including the Certificate, Diploma, AAS, and AS degrees are designed to prepare you as early care and education professionals in a variety of settings. The program has articulation agreements with three universities, and supports students who wish to transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree. Individuals must have a high school diploma, or GED, and pass a criminal background study to be admitted into the ECD programs.

Early Childhood Development Certificate:

This program option prepares individuals for work in a licensed child care center, preschool and before/after-school programs as an aide or assistant teacher or in a licensed or legally unlicensed family child care program.

Early Childhood Development Diploma:

This program option prepares individuals for work in a licensed child care center or preschool and before/after-school programs as an assistant teacher or lead teacher or in a licensed or legally unlicensed family child care program.

Early Childhood Development AS/AAS Degree:

These program options prepares students for employment in a variety of early care and education settings. Courses meet Minnesota Department of Human Services educational requirements for assistant teachers and teachers in licensed child care and preschool settings, before/after-school programs, as a family child care program provider as well as paraprofessional/aides/assistant teacher requirements in Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) in school districts. Students learn about child growth and development, positive child guidance, working with diverse families and professionals, nutrition, health and safety, cultural sensitivity and anti-bias education practices, and strategies for developing curriculum that promotes learning in young children with differing needs.

All ECD program options require the successful completion of a Minnesota Criminal Background Study.

See all Program Requirements and Courses

One of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. is the early care and education field. Children’s participation rates in early childhood programs continue to increase, and a lack of quality early childhood caregivers and programs continues to be a growing concern. The quality of children’s care significantly contributes to children’s school readiness, and an educated staff is the link between quality programs and positive outcomes for children and families.

The increasing need for educated early care and education caregivers and teachers can lead to a rewarding and challenging career in child care centers, preschools, Head Start programs, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), before/after-school care, paraprofessional roles, family child care programs, resource and referral agencies and other programs serving children and families.

For more information on the current early care and education job opportunities, please visit the iSeek website.

Gainful Employment for Early Childhood Development Certificate - 20 credits
Gainful Employment for Early Childhood Development Diploma - 32 credits

Early Childhood Development Career Information

Member College, E-LECT (E-Learning for Early Childhood Teachers) collaborative

Melissa Felland, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Outstanding Educator Award, 2011

Melissa Felland