Early Childhood Education

Teaching at any level — pre-school through college — is an enriching and satisfying career. As a graduate, earn a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification, or work as teacher assistant in schools or child care centers.
Degree & Certificate Options

Early Childhood Education

Associate of Applied Science Degree | 60 Credits
No Longer Accepting New Students

Early Childhood Education Director

Certificate | 30 Credits
Direct to Work, Stackable

Early Childhood Teacher Education

Associate of Arts Degree | 60 Credits
Colorado Guaranteed Transfer

Early Childhood Teacher, Level I

Certificate | 6 Credits
Direct to Work, Stackable

Early Childhood Teacher, Level II (Para-professional Educator)

Certificate | 18 Credits
Direct to Work, Stackable
enriching and satisfying career
Graduates of the Early Childhood Education programs can go on to earn bachelor’s degrees and teacher certification

The Early Childhood Education program at Community College of Denver prepares a diverse student population in teacher education by integrating current research, theory, and hands-on experience.

We prepare early childhood students with a commitment to equality, opportunity, and collaborative community relationships on behalf of young children and families.

Teaching at any level — preschool through college — is an enriching and satisfying career where you make a difference every day. If you have a passion for learning, enjoy working with children, and want to make a difference, teaching may be the perfect career for you.

CCD offers an Associate of Applied Science and Associate of Arts in early childhood education and three additional certificate programs. Graduates of these programs can go on to earn bachelor’s degrees and teacher certification, or they can work as teacher assistants in schools or childcare centers.

female teacher reading to young students
More Information About the Program

Academic support is provided through CCD’s Excel Zone, which helps students succeed by offering a variety of learning opportunities. We are located on campus on the 4th floor of the Confluence building.

CCD Online offers fully online certificates and degrees, and individual online courses to help match your busy schedule. This program offers between 50 to 89 percent of its degree either online or through a hybrid program.

Your first step is to see if online learning is right for you. Online and hybrid environments offer much more flexibility but require more self-direction and self-discipline. Certain work habits, learning styles and skills contribute to a successful online or hybrid learning experience.

Online Experience Questions?
303.352.6785 | TLC@ccd.edu

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) requires a completed background check to enroll in certain courses in the Early Childhood Education program, like ECE1045. The background check can only be processed through CCCS' secure CastleBranch website and are paid for by the applicant. Please contact CastleBranch to learn about the current cost for background checks.

To begin the background check, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the CCCS CastleBranch website.
  2. Select "Place Order."
  3. Select "Community College of Denver" from the first dropdown.
  4. From the new dropdown, select the "Early Childhood Education" program.
  5. In the next dropdown, select "I am a new student placing an order for the first time."
  6. Review the contents of the background package.
  7. Read and agree to the terms and conditions, the select "Continue."
  8. Complete the entire form and complete payment when finished.

Once paid, save a copy of your receipt or save a screenshot of your order confirmation. You will provide the confirmation or proof of payment as supplemental material to your online application.

CastleBranch FAQ

If I have further questions or need additional help, who do I contact?

Please call Castlebranch.com Student Services at 888-723-4263 or email servicedesk.cu@castlebranch.com.

Please Note: You do not need to wait until your background check is complete to finish your online application to the Early Childhood Education program. Once you upload proof of payment or your order confirmation to your online application, the remainder of your background check will be handled by CastleBranch and Community College of Denver. You will be contacted by CCD once the background check process is fully complete.

A background check is required and there is a fee associated with this program. Please contact CastleBranch to learn about the current cost for background checks.

Most of this program is eligible for federal financial aid. However, the early childhood education teacher, level I certificate is not eligible for federal student aid.

Your first step is to connect with the Financial Aid office to discover how you can afford college. Our dedicated staff and support services help you wade through all the legal language and get you past the first hurdle to completing your educational goals.

In addition, CCD has $1,000,000 available in scholarships. Learn More!

The teacher education designation associate degree is a guaranteed transfer (GT) program.

GT programs enable all college students to complete their first two years of college here at CCD and then transfer to any public college in Colorado as a junior. It is called the DWD program (Degrees with Designation). This program saves you money and time.

A Two-Year Degree from CCD Can Lead to a Four-Year Degree from:

  • Adams State University
  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Colorado State University
  • Fort Lewis College
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • University of Colorado Denver 
  • University of Northern Colorado

There are community-based workforce internship opportunities available. Please speak with your program chair for details.

What Can I Do with My Major?

Early childhood teachers educate and care for young children who have not yet entered kindergarten. They promote child development and learning; build family and community relationships; support young children, use developmentally appropriate approaches to connect with children and families; and use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum. The employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

There are numerous job possibilities with an associate degree or certificate in early childhood education including:

  • Child Care Worker
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Paraprofessional
  • Child Care Director

How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

The median annual wage for preschool teachers was $37,130 in May 2023.

The information provided here is by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Total of 2019 GraduatesTotal Students Employed in their Field of StudyTotal Students Who Have Transferred to  4-Year Degree or Other Institution

All Early Childhood Teacher, Level I certificate credits apply toward the requirements of the Early Childhood Teacher, Level II certificate and Teacher Education Designation A.A

The Early Childhood Teacher, Level II certificate seamlessly transfers to the Teacher Education Designation A.A

Important Dates
Faculty & Staff
Karen E. Danielson
Professor Art history and Chair: Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Art Education
Anne E. Fulton
Department Chair & Professor, Early Childhood Education
Edi Hernandez
Academic Advisor
Patricia Matus-Amat
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education
Smiling person with shoulder length dark brown hair wearing orange beads and orange top
Kat Reinhardt
Academic Advisor