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Intro to Early Childhood Education Professions

Toddler being read to by ECC staff.

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

If you are interested in Adult Basic Education classes, please complete our form to start the process, and we will contact you with details. If you have additional questions, call 847-214-6904 or email

Inquiry Form

ECC's early childhood education programs prepare you to work as child care workers or directors. The Associate of Applied Science degree in education/early childhood education is approved for the Gateways for Illinois Director Credential Level 1, Infant/ Toddler Credential, and ECE Credential Levels 2-4. This means the college is authorized to offer the courses approved by the Gateways to Opportunity within the education/early childhood education degree and certify you who have met all requirements of the IDC Level 1, Infant/Toddler ECE Levels 2-4. The credential recognizes colleges operating at a high level of quality in all areas of knowledge and experience while establishing a high standard of professionalism in the child care field.

Our free Introduction to Education - Early Childhood course gives an overview of ECC certificates and degrees to help you understand which profession is best for you.

In this course, you will:

  • Gain knowledge of the career pathways and educational/vocational requirements in Early Childhood Education.
  • Expand your oral and written skills, be introduced to legal and cultural issues in the field, and reflect on yourself as a potential Early Childhood Education professional.
  • Explore child guidance in the United States in an Early Child Care and Education setting, including the cultural norms of the field.
  • Identify, describe, and demonstrate the "soft skills" needed as an early childhood education professional and employee in the early childhood education workplace, e.g., communication, problem-solving, time management, and professionalism.
  • Participate in discussions covering a wide range of issues in the Early Childhood Education field. Improve oral skills to participate in classroom discussions and deliver oral presentations successfully.
  • Become aware of the career pathways to being a preschool teacher in Illinois.
  • Identify legal issues and regulations governing licensing of Early Childhood Education professionals in the United States.
  • Improve reading comprehension of materials and forms relevant to the field. Critically analyze documents and write reflectively about content.
  • With the assistance of an appropriate program coordinator/resource, design and implement an educational plan for an early childhood education career path.
  • Develop an Early Childhood Education vocabulary.
  • Describe and demonstrate employment skills, including writing a resume, participating in a mock job interview, completing a job application, and conducting online job searches.
  • Accreditation

    The Early Childhood Education Program has the Illinois Director's Credential Level I, Infant/Toddler Credential, and the ECE Credentials Level 2-4 through Gateways for Illinois.

  • Entrance Requirements


  • Program Requirements

    You must provide your transportation to and from all field experience sites. You must pass the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) fingerprint-based background check before enrolling in ECE 201 Field Experience I & Seminar.

Online Registration

Please complete our inquiry form to receive more information about registering for ABE/ASE classes. This form will help us understand your specific needs and preferences, allowing us to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance throughout the registration process. Completing this form will ensure we can tailor our support to meet your requirements best and help you start your educational journey with confidence.

Email or call 847-214-6904 for more information.

Inquiry Form

Stevens Amendment (FY24):
Stevens Amendment: Approximately $718,727 (40%) of the Illinois Adult Education and Literacy Program cost at Elgin Community College is federally funded under Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.