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.
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
Child Development Associate Credential
Online classes are now available for students working in an early childhood education program.
The 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 email@example.com 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.
Requirements and Costs
Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes
- A desire to serve others
- Enjoyment and appreciation of young children
- Ability to work collaboratively with other adults
- Patience, energy and enthusiasm
- Creativity and flexibility
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Desire to learn and reflect on own personal growth
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI offers advising assistance to help in deciding which courses you need to take to reach your education and career goals. Visit Advising or contact One Stop Student Services for more information.
Prospective and new Early Childhood Education majors should contact Sherri Lauer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.562.3483, to learn about the program requirements, discuss career goals, transfer opportunities, and begin the advising process.
Additional requirements while enrolled include:
- Criminal History Background check with fingerprinting
- Pediatric CPR and First Aid training certificate
- Proof of negative Tuberculosis test
The advisor will provide information to assist students in meeting the requirements.
Cost & Aid
As a student in this program, you may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships. Visit Cost & Aid to view tuition and fees, explore types of aid, apply for federal financial aid, and more.
Are you a 2024 Idaho high school graduate? Learn how to get up to $8,000 of your tuition and fees covered at CWI through Idaho LAUNCH.
- Child Care Center Teacher or Director
- Preschool Teacher
- Head Start Program Assistant or Lead Teacher
- Family Child Care Owner
Graduates work in child care centers, preschools, and Head Start programs as both assistant and lead teachers. Additionally, graduates begin their own business by starting family child care homes or child care centers and preschools. Career opportunities outside of teaching include becoming family educators and advocates, child life assistants, public school assistant teachers, and developmental techs in developmental disabilities agencies.
Work environments are busy and high energy with an emphasis on interaction between children and adults. The personal fulfillment of helping young children and their families is a tremendous benefit to professionals in this field.
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