Early Childhood Education

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CWI Early Childhood Ed Vignette

It is rewarding to see the students use what they have learned in the courses with children in the classroom. Sherri Lauer, Assistant Professor

Early Childhood Education Preschool

Our nationally-recognized preschool is now accepting registration applications for the 2023-2024 school 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 and Register

Becoming an early childhood educator takes heart, knowledge, and skill. Develop your teaching skills to educate and nurture young children (from birth to age eight) in College of Western Idaho's Early Childhood Education program. Engage in practical experience in the College's Early Childhood Education Preschool, as well as in the community, to hone your skills and open doors to your future career as a child care provider or preschool teacher. 


The program curriculum covers a range of topics related to child development and teaching practice. Not only will you learn how to teach young children but you will also learn to how to create safe and healthy learning environments, effectively partner with parents in their child’s care, and develop professional policies to guide center and classroom procedures.

Why This Program

Students can start the program fall, spring, or summer semester. Classes are offered during the day and evening as well as online. Students can take classes on a part-time or full-time schedule. This program involves classroom instruction as well as practical experience in our Preschool Laboratory or in early childhood facilities throughout the Treasure Valley. Students may use their own early childhood classroom to complete some practicums with children if the program meets certain requirements.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Understand the growth and developmental stages of young children
  • Develop and deliver age appropriate curriculum in literacy, math, science, social studies, art and music
  • Provide quality care and education for young children from birth to age eight
  • Set up and maintain a healthy, safe learning environment
  • Incorporate good nutrition into meals, snacks and food experiences
  • Guide and foster positive social and emotional development of children in groups
  • Partner with parents in their child's education
  • Learn to include children with diverse backgrounds as well as special needs into classrooms
  • Supervise and administer all aspects of an early childhood program
  • Become a professional and advocate for young children and their families

Additional Opportunities

Child Development Associate Credential

Online classes are now available for students working in an early childhood education program. 

Child Development Associate logoThe Early Childhood Education program provides the courses to meet the educational component of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential of the Council for Professional Recognition. The program provides courses on a regular basis to meet the requirements for the Preschool, Infant/Toddler, and Family Child Care CDA. The program will, upon special request, provide the coursework for the Home Visitor CDA.

These courses meet the CDA 120 hours of the education:

  • ECED 100 Foundations of Early Childhood Education, 3 credits
  • ECED 101 Child Development and Guidance, 3 credits
  • ECED 105 Teaching Young Children I, 4 credits

Supervision and support to complete the Professional Portfolio and Family Questionnaires is provided by a faculty advisor. Students who are awarded a CDA with college coursework for the educational component and decide to continue in the Early Childhood Education program may be eligible to challenge ECED 106 Teaching Young Children II.

If you are interested in learning more about the CDA coursework at CWI, contact Sherri Lauer at sherrilauer@cwi.edu or 208.562.3483. 

To learn more about the types of CDA credentials and steps to achieving the credential, visit the CDA National Credentialing Program.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Sharol Viker at Idaho State Capitol at a CWI table

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 State Capitol.

Early Childhood Education Co-Creation Project artwork

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

Early Childhood Education

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


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

Congratulate 2018 Faculty of the Year, Doug Rapley

Congratulations to Doug Rapley!

Early Childhood Education Preschool children playing outside

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