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Early Childhood Education

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WVC prepares students in the early childhood education (ECE) program for careers that focus on children from birth to five years and their families. This program provides an understanding of a child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. It emphasizes practices that are developmentally appropriate and embrace both family and community.

The ECE program is designed to develop skilled professionals who understand and apply the principles of early childhood development to a broad spectrum of careers, advocate the early childhood education profession, and respond to community and workplace needs. Students and community members will also find the courses useful in helping them to become knowledgeable and confident parents.

Research shows that interactions between caregivers/educators and children are one of the most important indicators of a high-quality program. Caregivers and educators need the training and education opportunities that support high-quality interactions with children. Additionally, caregivers need clear and accessible pathways to attain professional goals, from local training opportunities to higher education.

The Department of Early Learning (DEL) partnered with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to develop a clear educational pathway for early learning professionals. This partnership has made it possible for Wenatchee Valley College Early Childhood Education students to earn the stackable certificates listed below.

ECE Programs:

WVC students who enrolled in the ECE AAS-T program prior to June 30, 2013, will need to work closely with their program adviser. That program will be honored for three years, beginning July 1, 2013.

To be eligible for a degree or certificate, students must earn at least a "C" grade (2.0) in all ECE core courses and a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Core program courses may have prerequisite requirements. English and mathematics courses require qualifying assessment scores or acceptable preparatory coursework in those subjects.

 Planning Your Early Learning Career

In 2010, the Professional Development Consortium drafted an early learning professional career lattice. The goal of this lattice was to develop a common statewide progression of credentials and degrees that are aligned with the workforce knowledge and competency framework for early care and education and school-age child care professionals. The career lattice consists of 15 steps which align with career opportunities in licensed child care, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) and Head Start programs, family support services, ECE trainers, early learning licensors and higher education faculty.

For more information, download the Planning Your Early Learning Career PDF.

Related Links:

For more information about careers related to the ECE field, go to My Next Move or the Employment Security Department Web page (scroll through the alphabetical list by occupation, or type the name of an occupation into the search filter, such as preschool teacher, childcare worker or child advocate).

Career Pathways Roadmap

Early Childhood Education (ATS)
Students who complete the ATS in Early Childhood Education will be able to:

  • Document foundational competency in the Washington state’s eleven Early Childhood Education Professional Core Competencies.
  • Demonstrate evidence of the ability to plan experiences and provide materials for young children in the four different Early Childhood settings – Infant/toddler program, Family/Home Child Care Program, Preschool Program and a Kindergarten,1st, 2nd or 3rd grade classroom.
  • Identify and use credible professional resources from multiple sources, allowing them to better serve children and families with a wide range of cultures, languages, needs and abilities.
  • Acquire training and education to seek employment or advance in current employment in the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Develop a foundation to continue their studies in Early Childhood Education.

Early Childhood Education (Cert)
Students who complete the Early Childhood Education Certificate will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of each content area in young children’s learning.
  • Know the essential concepts and structure of content areas, including academic subjects.
  • Use their understanding of young children’s characteristics, needs and developmental growth to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.
  • Acquire training and education to seek employment or advance in current employment in the field of Early Childhood.
  • Develop a foundation to continue their studies in Early Childhood Education.


Contact Information

Early Childhood Education faculty contact information

Professional Technical Programs Office
509.682.6600


1300 Fifth Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801
Phone: (509) 682-6800
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116 West Apple Ave., Omak, WA 98841
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