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Early childhood teacher and students painting with carrots

Early Childhood Education

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Degree Type
60-credit Associate of Applied Science Degree

Program Code

Time to Degree
2 years

Start Date
August / January

How You'll Learn

  • Online
  • Hybrid
  • 8-Week Courses
  • Daytime
  • Evening

Learning that happens in early childhood settings provides children with a strong educational foundation. In this program, gain an understanding of the principles of early childhood education and learn to facilitate young children’s learning and development through class work and practical experience. Explore child development, child behavior, developmentally appropriate practices and strategies for working with parents.

Please note: A physical examination and caregiver background check is required prior to a field placement internship course.

How To Apply

  • Apply online and pay the $30 application fee.
  • Submit a copy of one of the following to demonstrate your reading, writing and math skills:
    • High school GPA of 2.60 or above. Transcript must include completed coursework through the 11th grade.*
    • ACT, ACCUPLACER® or GED - 2014 Series (165 or higher).*
    • Prior college coursework may meet this requirement in whole or in part. Courses must be in the specific area(s), and you must have earned a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) in the courses.*
    • If none of the above apply, sign up for the ACCUPLACER® placement test.

*Unofficial copies of these documents can be sent to

Questions on the application process? Visit the Admissions page or contact an enrollment counselor.

Program Details

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Contact Us

Questions? We'd love to help! Connect with our Enrollment team by filling out our online form or by email at

Potential Careers

Spending time with young children and nurturing their love of learning is the reward for those who work in early childhood education. If you are patient, compassionate and enjoy working with infants and children from birth through 8 years, and their parents, a career in early childhood education may be right for you.

  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Education Assistant
  • Child Care Teacher
High School Eligibility

This program is open to qualified high school applicants. Please note: If you complete this program before turning 18, you must seek approval from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Department of Children and Families in order to be exempted from the minimum age requirement to work in licensed childcare.

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Career Salaries

$24,600 - $39,700 annually

Salary range estimates based on wages for related occupations in Waukesha County as reported by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). Individual wages may vary based on experience, industry, location and specific job requirements.

Check the WCTC Graduate Success Report to view our graduates’ entry wages.

Financial Aid

As a program student, you are eligible to receive:

  • Financial aid loans
  • Scholarships
  • Other forms of assistance

Learn more about financial aid.

What Makes This Program Unique

  1. Strengthen classroom concepts through hands-on practice in our nationally-accredited Child Development Center and Early Learning Lab.
  2. Involvement in the Education Club enhances your learning while developing leadership and service skills.
  3. This program is offered in three different delivery formats, all designed to allow early childhood professionals working in the field to maximize their professional experience and accelerate their completion of the program.

Instructor and students in WCTC Early Childhood Education classroom


The Early Childhood Education program is accredited by the Commission on Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The accreditation term runs from May 2019 through March 2025.

1401 H St. NW, Suite 600
Washington DC, 20005
800.424.2460 x8007

Accreditation Outcomes


NAEYC Accreditation Seal

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About The Registry

The Registry promotes professional growth and verifies the education, training and experience vital to quality care for the Wisconsin childhood care and education workforce.

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Program Pathway

Earn certificates, technical diplomas and/or industry credentials along this pathway. Start with some courses for entry-level employment, and continue with additional courses for higher wages and job advancement.

Early Childhood Education Pathway

Earn credit for prior learning for the college-level knowledge and skills that you've already acquired through advanced high school classes, previous college coursework, self-study, military training work or volunteer experience.

More Credit Opportunities

Transfer Opportunities After WCTC

WCTC has credit transfer agreements with many four-year institutions that allow our degree graduates to transfer credits into a baccalaureate program, often at junior-level standing.

Explore Transfer Agreements