Early Childhood Education

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

We are now accepting registration applications for the 2022-2023 school year!

View updates and key developments related to CWI's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Early Learning Program NAEYC Accredited logo

College of Western Idaho's accredited Early Childhood Education Preschool is among the top in the nation



2022/2023 Preschool Sessions

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday / 9:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. / $750 per year
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday / 1:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. / $750 per year

Preschool classes are open to children of CWI students, employees, and members of the community

Tuition discounts are available for CWI employees and students

Payment plans are available

Each session runs the entire academic year or two semesters 

Children must be 3 years of age by Sept. 1

PLEASE NOTE:  Please complete a registration form to be placed on our waiting list.

Preschool Information

Becoming an early childhood educator takes an equal amount of heart, knowledge, and skill. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you have the responsibility for educating and nurturing young children from birth to age eight in a variety of early childhood settings. At the College of Western Idaho you will have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills right on campus in our own college Preschool Laboratory. Additional practical experience in community early childhood facilities expands career opportunities during college and after graduation.


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 (CDA) credential

These Courses are now available online 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, sherrilauer@cwi.edu or 208.562.3483. Please do not contact the One Stop about the CDA because it is not a CWI degree but a national credential from the Council for Professional Recognition.

To learn more about the types of CDA credentials and steps to achieving the credential, visit www.cdacouncil.org.

Respectful Community

The 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

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.

CWI student Kara Hunter at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America conference.

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