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Early Childhood Education Overview

CVTC’s Early Childhood Education program allows you to complete your education in two years and begin a professional career. Earning a two-year associate degree will prepare you for working with young children from birth to grade three. Early childhood educators play an important role in child development by attending to children’s needs and organizing activities that stimulate physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth. In addition, early childhood professionals supervise assistant child care teachers, maintain state licensing requirements, and provide lead instruction within the classroom.

In the early childhood classes you will learn child development, classroom management, how to work with children with varying abilities, and curriculum planning. Your education will also include learning how to plan and implement learning activities, work cooperatively with parents, and create a safe environment for young children.  

This program has an advanced placement entry option. Advanced placement is an opportunity for graduates of a related program to further their education. Learn more about advanced placement for this program.

*Please Note: This program includes four in-person practicums, each eight hours/week.

  Check Out WI Registry Credentials

Advance your career in early education a Wisconsin Registry Credential. These flexible online classes will teach you practical skills, stay current in best practices, and prepare you for the Wisconsin Registry Commission. Choose from Family Child Care or Administrator credentials. Learn more about these Wisconsin Registry Credentials.

Career Opportunities

Childcare Teacher

Early Childhood Teacher


Preschool Teacher

Public School Teacher Aid

Special Education Assistant

Graduate Employers

Adventures Begins Childcare Center

Creative Start Early Learning Center

Days Gone By Early Learning

Durand-Arkansaw School District

Mondovi School District

Semcac Head Start

Just the Facts

Early Childhood Education
60 Credit Associate Degree

Length of Program //
Two Years

Delivery Method //
, (Four in-person practicums are required for this program.)

Program Location //
Eau Claire and River Falls

Program Location //

Start Months //

Start Dates //


Financial Aid Eligible


Non-Traditional Occupation

Estimated Program Cost 

Term 1



Term 2



Term 3



Term 4






 Estimated Total: $11,035

  Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning. Explore your options today!

Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you can take in the Early Childhood Education program.

Guiding Child Behavior
This course examines positive strategies to guide children's behavior in the early childhood education setting.

Social Studies, Art, Music & Movement
This course will focus on beginning level curriculum development in the specific integrated content areas of social studies, art, music, & movement (SSAMM).

Children with Differing Abilities
The course focuses on the child with differing abilities in an early childhood education setting.

Early Childhood Education Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking where they are working, whether it is in their degree field, and several other questions related to employment. Below are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Outcomes


90% of our recent Early Childhood Education graduates got a job in the industry.


Yearly Salary

Our recent Early Childhood Education graduates reported an average starting salary of $26,956.


Regional Jobs

There are 97 job openings in the CVTC district for the Early Childhood Education industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Transfer your CVTC credits to another institution to continue your education. Explore transfer agreements.


Focus On Student Success

Working with children has become my passion. I am so interested in everything we do in the program. It’s easy to learn, because I so want to learn it. It’s a lot of fun, and hands-on too. We make a lot of teacher-made materials that we can use.

Hannah, Early Childhood Education Graduate

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Child Care Services, Technical Diploma

Foundations of Teacher Education, Associate Degree

Library & Information Services, Associate Degree

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.

A Program You Can Trust

Program Accreditation

NAEYC Accreditation Logo

The Early Childhood Education Associate Degree at Chippewa Valley Technical College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, The current accreditation term runs from 2018 through 2025.