The Early Childhood Education program is designed to educate professionals in a range of diverse positions to serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children in group situations, as well as to serve their families. Students are trained in college affiliated, nationally accredited early childhood education centers which serve as field sites.
To earn an Associate in Applied Science degree or one of several certificates, ECE students must achieve a minimum grade of C in all Early Childhood Education courses and successfully complete field experiences before being accepted in practicum, earning a certificate, or being granted the A.A.S. degree.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children and Oakton’s ECE program encourage persons entering the field to have a minimum of an ECE certificate or an A.A.S. degree.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services requires child care workers to have a minimum of six credit hours in early childhood education, and two years of college credit to be licensed to teach young children in group situations. Students seeking to meet only these minimum DCFS requirements should take the following ECE core courses:
Early Childhood Education Core Courses
|ECE 102||Child Growth and Development||3|
|One course of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Early Childhood Education|
|Observation and Assessment of the Young Child|
|Nutrition, Health and Safety for the Young Child|
|Child, Family, and Community Relations|
- Early Childhood Education A.A.S.
- Basic Early Childhood Education Certificate
- Advanced Early Childhood Education Certificate
- Basic Infant Toddler Certificate
- Advanced Infant Toddler Certificate
- Basic Family Child Care Provider Certificate
- Advanced Family Child Care Provider Certificate
- Early Childhood Education Administration Certificate
Early Childhood Education Courses
Course provides an overview of the theory and principles of human development. Content includes in-depth study of physical, social, emotional and cognitive aspects, from conception to adolescence. Special emphasis placed on child development theories of Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky, Skinner, etc., and significance of family, peers, culture and school. Field observations required.
Course introduces students to the field of early childhood education. Content includes historical and philosophical influences, current theories, professional responsibilities, roles, and family. Different types of early childhood programs studied and observed. Coursework includes student placement in an approved early childhood center for a 10-hour/5-week affiliation. Students must successfully complete both the academic and field placement components of this course.
Course covers a study of developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive guidance practices that support the development of the young child. Content includes analysis of child behavior and the development of professional guidance techniques. Students will explore the relationship between careful communication and effective interaction with young children. Field observations required.
Course explores developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive observation and assessment strategies for studying the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of children birth through eight years. Students will develop skills in using systematic observation and documentation strategies to develop trusting relationships with children and to plan appropriate programs, environments, and activities in early childhood settings. Field observations required.
Course provides overview of early childhood practices that ensure children’s physical and emotional well-being. Content includes basic health, safety and nutritional needs of children and methods to effectively meet these needs in early childhood settings. Field observations required.
Course provides an overview of play as it relates to the development of the young child. Students explore wide variety of methods for developing self expression and creativity in art, music, movement and drama.
Short-term course designed to provide overview of aspects of growth patterns. Topics examine physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development from conception to age five.
Short-term course designed to provide an overview of management of the classroom. Content includes positive child guidance, prevention techniques, and strategies for creating pro-social classroom atmosphere.
Short-term course designed to provide an overview of developmentally appropriate, anti-bias curriculum. Specific focus on curricular areas of art, music, language arts, and movement.
Short-term course designed to provide an overview of developmentally appropriate, anti-bias curriculum. Specific focus on topics of curricular areas of math, science and social studies.
Short-term course focuses on patterns of growth and development in the child from birth to age three. Content includes strategies for designing safe, healthy, learning environments and creating appropriate learning activities.
Course explores the professional role of the home child care provider. Content includes legal and ethical responsibilities of provider; relationship with families and the local community; effective group management; creating a healthy learning environment and workable daily schedule; planning appropriate activities; and the role of technology in center management. Five hours of family child care observations required.
Course further explores the professional role of the home child care provider. Content includes appropriate business and marketing practices; assessment and documentation of children’s learning; the role of technology in communication, planning, record-keeping, and resource development; family involvement in program activities; the role of professional ethics; the function of advocacy in programming and professional relationships; and the impact of professional development on effective programming. Ten hours of supervised experience in a family child setting required.
Course provides an overview of the historical, philosophical, and legal foundations of special education programming for children ages birth – grade 12. Characteristics of children with disabilities, along with identification, intervention strategies, methods, and programs to meet the needs of the special education population are presented. Fulfills requirements of School Code 25.25. Field observations required.
Course examines patterns of growth and development in the child from birth to age three. Content includes specific needs of infants and toddlers in light of current research; safety measures; family and cultural dynamics; and planning developmentally appropriate activities. Five hours supervised experience with infants, toddlers, and their families required.
Course investigates overall classroom functioning in infant/toddler settings. Content includes curricular models, daily operational procedures,relational/cultural models, and evaluative devices. Ten hours supervised experience with infants, toddlers, and their families required.
Course examines language development theory and appropriate language arts and social studies activities for young children. Topics emphasize design and evaluation of developmentally appropriate, anti-bias activities and instructional materials.
Course introduces theory and practice related to curricular areas of mathematics and science for young children. Content includes design and evaluation of developmentally appropriate, antibias activities and instructional materials. Students will conduct math assessment on a young child.
Course provides in-depth knowledge of typical and atypical human communication development with an emphasis on speech and language development in children. Additional topics explore language and literacy, bilingualism, and the influence of culture. Language observations required.
Course introduces theory and practice related to curriculum planning and implementation for young children. Content includes analysis of wide range of early childhood curriculum models and practices. Standards-based, developmentally appropriate lesson planning and assessment of learning environments experiences will be covered. Coursework includes student placement in an approved early childhood center for a 10-hour/5-week affiliation. Students must successfully complete both the academic and field placement components of this course.
Course is a one-semester capstone experience for students pursuing the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. Emphasis on practical application of early childhood principles and theories in a supervised early childhood setting. Students supervised by qualified professionals and college instructor, and required to work in an approved center with children ranging in age from infancy through kindergarten for a minimum of 4 days/15 hours per week, in addition to 2-hour weekly seminar.
Advanced course is second-semester capstone experience for students pursuing the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. Students continue practical application of early childhood principles and theory. In addition, more long-term curricular planning, parent involvement activities, and portfolio required. Students supervised by qualified professional and college instructor, and required to work in approved center for a minimum of 4 days/15-18 hours per week, in addition to 2-hour weekly seminar.
Course focuses on diverse needs of the child within the context of family, school, and community. The interplay of diverse cultures, lifestyles, abilities, language, and communication within the role of the early childhood environment and other community institutions will be considered. Students will gain an understanding of their professional role in supporting evidence-based practices that strengthen respectful, collaborative family/child partnership through use of community and family resources. Field observations required.
Courses examines current early childhood administrative practices and procedures. Focus is on the administrator’s relationships with governmental, legal, business/finance, medical, social service and educational agencies in managing a program.
Course provides hands-on experience for students pursuing the ECE Advanced Administration Certificate. Focus is on practical application of early childhood administrative principles and theories. Students are supervised by qualified early childhood program director and a college instructor, and required to work in an approved center a minimum of 4 days/15-18 hours per week, in addition to attending a 2-hour weekly seminar.
Course stresses knowledge and application of legal responsibilities required by a director of an early childhood program. Focus is on the various legal structures and licensing standards required by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Course designed to help the early childhood director successfully manage fiscal responsibilities in the daily operation of a center. Emphasis is on budget and financial report development, cash flow management, grant writing and fund raising.
Course provides knowledge of fundamentals of effective marketing, public relations and community outreach for the early childhood director. Focus is on developing a market plan and useful promotional literature, handbooks, newsletters and press releases.
Course examines different supervisory and group facilitation styles. Focus is on developing skills in consensus building, team development, and staff performance appraisals. Additional Content includes group dynamics, communication styles, and conflict resolution.
Program Director Course presents information on organizational theory and leadership styles in relation to early childhood and school-age work environments. Focus is on developing a center philosophy and mission statement and effective advocacy activities.
Course provides information on communications to be carried out by the early childhood director. Focus on mechanics of written materials, oral communications, various styles of modern business documents.
Course designed to meet special interest needs of ECE students and in-service needs of early childhood teachers. Special topics offered for variable credit. Students may repeat ECE 290 up to three times. Fee Varies. Prerequisite may vary by topic.