Early Childhood Education

Shaping Young Minds with Unparalleled Passion and Educational Expertise

Teachers working with group of young children while sitting in a circle on the floor

Program Overview

Are you inspired to shape the future of young children? At College of Western Idaho (CWI), our Early Childhood Education program is designed for you. This program offers the perfect blend of entry and advanced-level courses, guiding you to become a skilled educator for children from birth to age eight. Here, you will delve into curriculum development, learn about child assessment methods, and explore health and safety standards — all through a lens of the latest research-based practices.

Imagine yourself working hands-on with children in our preschool lab and various practicum sites, applying what you learn in real-time. Whether you are juggling work or other commitments, our flexible online and evening courses fit into your life. Plus, our program paves the way for you to earn the Child Development Associate® (CDA) credential, recognized by many employers as a standard for employability in the industry. With CWI, you are not just studying early childhood education; you are embarking on a journey to make a lasting impact in the lives of young learners.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Applied Science

Basic Technical Certificate

Time to Complete

0.5 – 2 years

Primary Location

Student working with two young children at a table

Learning Opportunities

  • Direct Interaction with Young Learners: Engage with children in our preschool lab, practicing your skills and nurturing their development.
  • Study at Your Pace: Choose online or evening classes, making it easier to balance your education with your personal and professional life.
  • Real-Life Teaching Experiences: Apply observation, assessment, and activity planning in diverse educational settings.
  • Skills for Now and the Future: Develop practical skills that are valuable in your immediate career and transferable to future educational endeavors.
  • Pathway to CDA Credential: Progress toward earning the CDA credential, a key qualification in early childhood education. 

      CDA logo

Preschool Services

Early Childhood Education's nationally-recognized preschool is now accepting registration applications for the 2023-2024 academic year! 

  • Preschool classes are open to children of CWI students and employees, as well as members of the community. 
  • Payment plans are available, and CWI employees and students may receive tuition discounts.
  • Sessions run the entire academic year or two semesters. 
  • Children must be 3 years of age by Sept. 1.
  • To be placed on the waiting list, please complete a registration form.

Learn More & Register

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Early Childhood Education – Associates of Applied Science Degree

Early Childhood Education – Basic Technical Certificate

Person sitting in classroom in circle with group of kids

Career Opportunities

  • Postsecondary Teachers


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

    Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

Load more

*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


Step 1

  • Apply to CWI.
  • Choose Early Childhood Education as your major.

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
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College of Western Idaho’s Early Childhood Education faculty joined Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children and other educators around the state for Early Learning Day at the...

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CWI partners with the Boise Art Museum to provide preschool children an opportunity to meet and work with professional artists.

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Register today to enroll your child in the College's nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Preschool.

Read more about Early Childhood Preschool Openings for 2019-20

Beginning fall 2019, online courses for the Child Development Associate credential will be available for Early Childhood Education students. 

Read more about Online Early Childhood Development Courses

The College of Western Idaho Early Childhood Education Preschool has earned national accreditation.

Read more about Early Childhood Education Preschool Among Top in the Nation

The CWI Early Childhood Education program sponsored an event at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America state conference.

Read more about Early Childhood Education Program Helps with State Event
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