Make a Difference

Do you love children? Have you ever felt the reward of teaching something? Perhaps you've considered that you may become a parent one day. In early childhood education, you can discover all the ways teachers inspire and change lives. From psychology to nutrition, you can learn the basics of how to professionally care for and teach children. Discover the joy of shaping lives through education and find out how you want to change the world, one child at a time.

The Washington Department of Early Learning (DEL) created a set of core competencies for early care and education professionals. Our Child Care program is aligned with the Community and Technical College Board so that you can earn twelve tech-prep college credits.

You must pass a Washington State Control Background Check

You must have a Driver License OR transportation to Early Learning Facilities

You must pass a TB Test and/or Inoculation

You must have a First Aid/CPR Card

Career options & salary range

Teaching assistant, early childhood education teacher, elementary school teacher, and more

Skills learned

  • Learn the basics of early learning and developmental psychology
  • Learn and practice lesson planning as well as early learning strategies
  • Understand the basics of child nutrition
  • Earn your food handler’s card and learn safety and nutrition regarding meal prep and related legal requirements and liabilities
  • Get real experience with children and apply knowledge in child psychology spending time in local early learning facilities

You’ll begin your classes in 11th grade by enrolling in Child Psychology/Child Care Basics. See your counselor for details.

Your Contact

Program of Study Lead

Taylor Dale Vance

Early Childhood

(509) 972-5964

  • Pathways

  • Out of high school

    If you meet specific state requirements, you can work at a childcare center or become a teaching assistant.

  • Two-year options

    A two-year associate’s degree in education or your ECE (Early Childhood Education) certificate offers opportunities to become a childcare worker, teaching assistant, or preschool teacher.

  • Four-year and up options

    With a four-year bachelor’s degree in education, you can become a certified teacher and teach K-12. If you are interested in teaching in middle or secondary school, you’ll be advised to also major in the subject you wish to eventually teach, such as music, mathematics, history, biology, or English. You can continue on and earn your master’s degree or a Ph.D. and teach higher, college-level courses.

Program requirements
Early Childhood Education (ECE) 101 1.5
Early Childhood Education (ECE) 102 1.5
3 credit(s)
Optional courses
Single Survival Essentials 0.5
0.5 credit(s)

College credit earned

  • YVC ECED& 105 - Intro to Early Childhood Education
  • YVC ECED& 107 - Health, Nutrition, and Safety
  • YVC ECED& 120 - Practicum: Focus on Relationships and Communication
  • YVC ECED& 100 - Childcare Basics

Certifications & training

  • First Aid/CPR Certification


Early Childhood Education (ECE) 101 ‐ 1.5 Credit(s)

Duration ‐ One semester (satisfies English, Science, Occupational credits)

Prerequisite ‐ Junior or senior standing

Fees and Costs ‐ You are responsible for your own transportation to area elementary/middle schools.

Course Overview

This is a daily, 3-hour block course, which earns 1.5 credits by the semester's end. Together, ECE 101 and 102 make up a year-long program.

Are you considering a career in childcare or education? In this program, you’ll study children’s physical, social, emotional, and mental development from prenatal to school age. Learn first aid and practice parenting styles and discipline techniques. You can participate in the empathy belly pregnancy simulation and the Real Care Baby parenting simulation. Gain experience one day a week in an elementary or child-care facility, and learn firsthand about careers involving children.

You’ll need to be 16 (usually a junior) and be able to drive to and from the elementary school. A community service project may be planned and implemented. By adding the Basics in Child Care competencies, you will earn their STARS credentials to work in licensed childcare when you complete 10 assessments in the curriculum with 70% accuracy. If you earn a B grade, you may receive 8 credits through YVC for course ECED& 105 Early Childcare Basics and ECED& 100 STARS.

If you would like to earn tech prep credit for ECED& 107 (Health Nutrition and Safety--five credits), you will read chapters from Health Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child and complete a separate packet by the end of the semester. You’ll learn to prepare foods, beverages, and plan meals. Emphasis is on safety and sanitation as well as how to apply nutritional information. The super-tracker feature will be used to discover nutrition habits. Then, we will analyze diets, herbs and supplements, and fast foods. You’ll prepare and learn about fruits and vegetables, breads, eggs, meats, and desserts.

Tips for athletes will be included, and you will each implement a lifestyle change project. Chinese, Mexican, and Italian foods will be prepared as well as a foreign food demonstration with reports on countries from which the meals came. A guest meal will be part of the final assessment. You will have the opportunity to get a food handler’s permit in the class. The Art Institute of Seattle offers higher education opportunities in this field.

Student Learning Objectives

  • Read text and complete assessments on course content, approximately 16 chapters
  • Present mini-reports on safety, birth defects, and child development theorists
  • Compare and contrast the developmental milestones of babies, toddlers, and preschool- and school-aged children
  • Participate in 14-15 activities with children in the elementary schools one day a week and complete the paperwork for a job shadow, if needed. You will learn to write an observation using an anecdotal record
  • Complete exercises demonstrating understanding of appropriate guidance practices
  • Create a sample newsletter summarizing attributes of diversity and the value of respecting cultural differences, recognizing that the family is the primary educator of their child
  • Demonstrate the understanding of proper food handling by completing the online course. You can get a food handler’s card if you pay the $10 fee
  • Demonstrate proper hand washing and diapering techniques after compiling a checklist
  • Identify healthy physical environments indoors and outdoors for children and understand the need for childproofing a home for infants and toddlers
  • Summarize the fundamentals of professional behavior using NAEYC Code of Ethics and policies that comply with Washington rules for licensing
  • Understand child abuse reporting laws based on scenarios
  • Complete a career investigation using Career Bridge materials, WOIS, or MERIT
  • Prepare various recipes both safely and accurately
  • Demonstrate appropriate cleanup
  • Analyze your own nutritional eating habits using the food guide pyramid
  • Set a goal to work on your eating habits or exercise performance
  • Participate in a group project on a foreign country
  • Understand principles of food safety and successfully pass the Food Handler’s test, if desired
  • Complete a brochure or newsletter on a nutrition-related topic including a one-day diet

Early Childhood Education (ECE) 102 ‐ 1.5 Credit(s)

Duration ‐ One semester (Satisfies English, Science, Occupational credits)

Prerequisite ‐ Junior or Senior standing, previous enrollment in ECE 101

Fees and Costs ‐ None

Course Overview

This is a daily, 3-hour block course, which earns 1.5 credits by the semester's end. Together, ECE 101 and 102 make up a year-long program. This course is articulated with YVC for 2 college credits, ECED& 120.

In this class, you’ll learn about current issues that impact early childhood education. Topics cover multicultural education including diversity and anti-bias curriculum, special-needs children (education) and inclusion, family systems, and child abuse/violence. Emphasis will be placed on the current issues and trends in each area as well as resources available to ECE professionals.

This class meets the required Washington State Core competencies identified through the listed course student outcomes and the National standards. This course is required in Early Childhood Education programs, exclusively preparing professionals to work in Early Learning Programs. Attendance and participation in this course is scored by completion of weekly assignments, course projects, and class discussion. If you have an excused absence, SIA, or pre-arranged absence, your work will be due when you return, depending on the time missed. No late assignments will be accepted. No make-up or extra credit assignments will be given.

Depending on your 4 observation days per week, you will determine which 2 assignments you can turn in on the Mondays we meet. There will be information to read and prepare for the next week’s in-class assignment. There are 21 assignments.

Student Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate appropriate practices that ensure and maintain the health, safety, and nutrition of children
  • Establish supportive relationships with children and guide them as individuals and as part of a group using positive behavior guidance
  • Serve children and families in a professional manner
  • Demonstrate understanding and responsiveness within and across cultures, creating an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment where all children, youth, and families can take pride in their cultural identities, beliefs, and practices
  • Perform duties of the assigned role as outlined in expectations by the site supervisor
  • Collaborate regularly with the site supervisor to further develop skills, realign expectations and duties, or change responsibilities
  • Apply specific child guidance strategies based on early learning theory

Single Survival Essentials ‐ 0.5 Credit(s)

Duration ‐ One semester

Prerequisite ‐ None

Fees and Costs ‐ None

Course Overview

Get ready for the real world and develop independent living skills. Topics cover resume development, job applications, interviewing skills, personal appearance, housing decision-making, navigating roommate situations, and money management including credit and checking accounts, grocery shopping, securing insurance, investing, and taxes. You’ll also learn about the symptoms and treatment of mental health diseases, drug/alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and learn tips for personal safety, dating violence, and dating issues.

This course will fulfill the requirement for a health class.

Student Learning Objectives

  • Determine and explore necessary expenses for living by creating a budget
  • Practice independent living in a 3-week unit called Reality Check
  • Explore individual responsibility toward controlling communicable sexually transmitted diseases
  • Analyze information concerning aspects of drug abuse, sharing findings from interviews with users and non-users
  • Identify the symptoms of various mental health diseases and appropriate treatments
  • Learn to write checks, reconcile a checkbook, and analyze advantages and disadvantages of credit cards
  • Become aware of insurance needs, investment opportunities, and understand compound interest
  • Select a leadership project of your choice and work on it independently
  • Complete workbook exercises on Dating & Emotions or Relationships & Marriage