Early Childhood Education



Graduates of the two-year program work as lead, assistant, or associate teachers in child care centers, private preschools, child development homes, and private and public schools. With additional experience and credentials, graduates may become a paraeducator in a public school or the director of a child care center.

Diploma graduates work as child care workers, teacher assistants, and early childhood professionals in child care centers, private preschools, child development homes, and private and public schools. Many graduates provide in-home child care and nanny services.

The Early Childhood certificate prepares the student for an entry-level position in a child care program. The certificate meets the course work requirements for the formal education component of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Childcare Workers $17,500 $21,200 $23,000
Preschool Teachers in Head Start and Private Preschools $20,500 $28,500 $32,600
Teaching Assistants $19,500 $25,400 $28,400

Source: 2020 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Community United Child Care Centers Waterloo and
Cedar Falls, IA
Dike New Hartford Elementary School Dike, IA
Discoveries Learning Center Denver, IA
Exceptional Persons, Inc. Waterloo, IA
Hawkeye Child Development Center Waterloo, IA
Purple Bloom School Coralville, IA
The Goddard School Waukee, IA
Tri-County Child & Family Development Council, Inc. Waterloo, IA
Trinity Preschool and Child Care Waterloo, IA
Vinton Shellsburg Community Schools Vinton, IA
Waterloo Community School District Waterloo, IA
Waverly Child Care and Preschool Waverly, IA

Admissions Requirements

Step #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Complete Hawkeye's online admissions application to apply and be considered for the Early Childhood Education program.

  2. Request to have your transcripts sent to the Admissions office.

Step #2: Basic Skill Competencies

In order to be eligible for the Early Childhood Education program, all students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a "C" grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Minimum score requirements
16 Reading 58 Reading 69 Reading 239 Reading
16 English 64 Sentence Skills 41 Writing 240 Writing
14 Math 40 Arithmetic 24 Pre-Algebra 240 Arithmetic
241 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics

Step #3: Program Acceptance

Applicants meeting the Basic Skill Competencies Requirements criteria are eligible for acceptance.

Applicants not meeting the Basic Skill Competencies Requirements criteria will be accepted to a Pre-Program. As a pre-program student, you will begin with general education and prerequisite classes. An advisor will help you create an academic plan to meet your program admission requirements. Once you have completed your pre-program coursework contact Admissions.

Equal Opportunity Statement

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