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Early Childhood Education

Early childhood educators work with children ages birth to eight. By caring for these children, you have the opportunity to help form the adults they become.

topics Social Service

Skills & InterestHelping People

CareersService Professions

  • Teacher working with her child in the classroom
  • A baby girl concentrating
  • A baby boy and girl playing with blocks

Why choose Early Childhood Education?

A career working with young children can give you joy. You also have the satisfaction of knowing you have influenced the rest of their lives.

What will you learn?

The training, skills and practical experience needed to work effectively in infant and toddler, preschool, kindergarten or family education program, such as –

  • Childhood development
  • Culture and families
  • Managing a daycare center
  • Guiding behavior
  • Creative activities
  • Children's literature
  • Child nutrition, health and safety

What will you do?

Graduates of Chemeketa's Early Childhood Education degree and certificate programs may find employment at –

  • Child care centers
  • Head-Start programs
  • Parent cooperative preschools
  • Private preschools and kindergartens
  • Public schools

The roles you can expect to fulfill include –

  • Assistant teacher
  • Coordinator
  • Director
  • Education assistant
  • Family child care provider
  • Family support specialist
  • Home visitor
  • Nanny
  • Owner of a child care center or preschool program
  • Resource specialist
  • Teacher


Typically, the beginning wages of graduates are higher than for individuals in this field without degrees.

Starting wages in Oregon with –

  • Early Childhood Certificate – $13.50-16.87 per hour
  • Associate Degree – $16.75-21.64 per hour

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics wage and salary jobs in the child care services industry are projected to grow about 15 percent over the 2008-18 period, compared with the 11 percent employment growth projected for all industries combined.


    Chemeketa's Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education is a comprehensive 2 year (98 credit hours) if you are interested in –

    • Working in care and education programs for children birth through eight
    • Seeking to transfer to a four year institution
    • Expanding your employment options in the early childhood education field

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    Chemeketa's one year (56 credit hours) certification program is an expansion of the state licensing requirements. This certificate integrates college math and English as well as Early Child Education courses for a broader experience in infant, toddler, and early childhood education. All credits earned as part of The Early Childhood Certificate may be applied to the Associate's degree.

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    The State of Oregon requires individuals working in a licensed child care facility to have at least 14 College Credits of Early Childhood Education. The classes offered in this certification are specific to those seeking to work with infants and toddlers under age three. All credits earned as part of The Early Childhood Certificate may be applied to the Associate's degree (15 credit hours).

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    The State of Oregon requires individuals working in a licensed child care facility to have at least 14 college credits of early childhood education. Chemeketa offers a comprehensive program designed for students just entering the early childhood care and education field or for those already working as a child caregiver and need an immediate certificate to continue working in a licensed facility. This basic certificate prepares students to work with children ages two and a half to six years of age. All credits earned as part of the Early Childhood certificate may be applied to the Associate degree (14 credit hours).

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • Practicum

    The Child Development Center serves as the primary practicum and student teaching site for college students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program. This experience allows students with the opportunity to observe children and experienced teachers. In addition, students are able to apply and practice the theory learned in their courses in a licensed child care setting. Students earning the Associate's degree complete four terms of practicum at the Child Development Center.

  • Criminal Background Check & Drug Testing

    Although this program does not require background checks or drug testing. you might want to familiarize yourself with how future employers might use these procedures. Whether you are hired or promoted for a job may depend on the information revealed in a background check. Job applicants and existing employees as well a s volunteers may be asked to submit to background checks. For some jobs, screening is required by federal or state law. The current emphasis on security and safety has dramatically increased the number of employment background checks conducted. For more information, visit

    For more information, email or call 503.399.6076.