Early Childhood Education

Program Options

Certificate Option

Award: Certificate
Credits: 20
Program Start: Fall
Enrollment Status: Full-time or Part-time
Length to Complete: 4 months *

  • Fall start: August 2021 – December 2021
  • Spring start: January 2022 – May 2022
Cost: $2,490 **

Careers and Average Wages

The Early Childhood certificate prepares you 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

Source: 2020 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development

Core Courses

  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education

View the Certificate Option Suggested Sequence of Study

Diploma Option

Award: Diploma
Credits: 30
Program Start: Fall or Spring
Enrollment Status: Full-time or Part-time
Length to Complete: 9 months *

  • Fall start: August 2021 – May 2022
  • Spring start: January 2022 – December 2022
Cost: $6,225 **

Careers and Average Wages

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.

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

Core Courses

  • Child Growth and Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I
  • Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum II
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Field Experience I
  • Field Experience Seminar I

View the Diploma Option Suggested Sequence of Study

AAS Degree

Award: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits: 61
Program Start: Fall
Enrollment Status: Full-time or Part-time
Length to Complete: 17 months *

  • Fall start: August 2021 – May 2023
  • Spring start: January 2022 – December 2023
Cost: $12,657.50 **

Careers and Average Wages

Graduates of the two-year AAS degree 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.

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

Core Courses

  • Child Growth and Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I
  • Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum II
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Field Experience I
  • Field Experience Seminar I
  • Career Strategies for Early Childhood
  • Current Topics and Issues in Child Care
  • Early Childhood Professional Portfolio
  • Field Experience II
  • Field Experience Seminar II
  • Home, School, and Community Relations
  • School Age Care
  • Advanced Curriculum Planning
  • Early Childhood Program Administration

View the AAS Degree Suggested Sequence of Study

Professional Development

Hawkeye offers many continuing education courses, including the Childcare Director Certificate, to keep you up to date in your early childhood education career.

View Teachers and Educators Continuing Education Offerings

* Length to Complete

Program length to complete is based on full-time enrollment status.

** Cost Calculation

The program cost calculation is based on 2021–2022 tuition and fees and course fees.

  • Resident tuition and fees x course credits + course fee if applicable.
  • If more than one course is listed, the first course is used in this calculation.

The course cost calculation does not include:

  • The cost of books. Visit the Hawkeye Bookstore to determine the cost of books.

  • Tools, supplies, and background screenings. Some programs may have additional cost of tools, supplies, and background screenings. Check with a program advisor for more information.

  • Non-resident tuition and fees or international student costs.

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
ACT ACCUPLACER COMPASS ACCUPLACER Next Generation
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

Contact Us

Admissions Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor Lisa Ciesielski Email Lisa Ciesielski
Schedule an appointment with Lisa Ciesielski
319-296-4433 Hawkeye Center 208
Program Advisor Jane Even Email Jane Even 319-296-2329 ext.1431 Black Hawk Hall 236
Program Advisor Emily Knutson Email Emily Knutson 319-296-2329 ext.1558 Black Hawk Hall 236
Administrative Assistant Kate Childers Email Kate Childers 319-296-4007 Black Hawk Hall 258
Dean Catharine Freeman Email Catharine Freeman 319-296-4041 Black Hawk Hall 258

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