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Early Childhood Education

Degrees and Programs

Working with children and infants is a challenging career with great rewards. Our program will prepare you to work in child care centers, preschool settings, Head Start, before-and-after-school programs, family home care, and as classroom aides and nannies. You will learn in real childcare settings from experienced professionals. We also have an active student organization and have helped in providing child care activities during special events.

As a childcare provider, you will provide appropriate playtime activities, read stories, and teach sharing and basic skills. You'll prepare and serve meals and snacks. You'll also communicate with parents about the activities of their child(ren). Patience is an essential quality in this field. If you earn an associate of arts degree, you may continue your education at a four-year college for a bachelor's degree in early childhood, early childhood unified education, or elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood.

We also offer this degree completely online through a cooperative effort with other Nebraska community colleges. Scholarships are available for already employed childcare workers.

Child care providers require a criminal background check before employment. You must submit to a background check before enrolling in early childhood education practicum courses. Individuals with a criminal record may not be eligible for employment. Please check with an advisor.


CDA® - Child Development Associate

Northeast Community College partners with the Council for Professional Development to offer coursework that satisfies the 120 clock hours of professional early childhood education required for CDA® credentials. Depending on the CDA® credential sought, the following coursework is required to meet the eight CDA® subject areas. These courses can also be applied toward an Associate of Arts Degree or an Associate of Applied Science Degree at Northeast Community College.

Infant and Toddler (Birth-36 months)

  • ECED 1150 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECED 1110 Infant and Toddler Development (3 credit hours)
  • ECED 1260 Health, Safety & Nutrition (3 credit hours)

Preschool (3-5 years)

  • ECED 1150 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECED 1120 Preschool Child Development (2 credit hours)
  • ECED 1260 Health, Safety & Nutrition (3 credit hours)

Family Child Care

  • ECED 1150 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECED 1110 Infant and Toddler Development (3 credit hours)
  • ECED 1120 Preschool Child Development (2 credit hours)
  • ECED 1260 Health, Safety & Nutrition (3 credit hours)

To earn the CDA®, 480 hours of professional work experience is required within three years of submitting an application. See https://www.cdacouncil.org/ for additional information about CDA® credential requirements.


Career Information

The childcare field continues to grow and the job outlook is good. Parents and employers seeking quality childcare find that our graduates are well-trained to assist in the development of children.

Salary Information

Salaries will vary greatly depending on the type and location of the job.


Instructor Bios

Courses and Program Options

* Program is available online.

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