The Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed to prepare students for employment as child care workers and teachers.  The JWCC Early Childhood Education program is an Illinois Gateways Entitled program* for Early Childhood Education and for Infants and Toddlers.  Through the JWCC program, students can earn credentials from Illinois Gateways credentials to meet statewide standards and improve their opportunities for employment.  Entitlement also facilitates transfers to Illinois four-year colleges.

Students learn the fundamentals of caring for children and organizing activities for children.  Activities are designed for children from infancy through age 12.  Child care workers and teachers are employed in daycare centers, preschools, family daycare homes, and before-/after-school programs.  Child care workers must be able to plan, organize, and implement activities to help the child develop academically, socially, and physically.  They must be able to create a warm, consistent and nurturing environment that encourages the development of each child.

Qualified applicants will be admitted into the program based on the date of the applications.  Students will be placed into mathematics and English classes based upon assessment scores.

An internship, integrating classroom instruction is required for all students.  Before starting the internship, students are required to submit a current record of a physical examination, indicating good physical and mental health.  According to regulations of the Department of Children and Family Services, a background check is completed for each student and satisfactory clearance must be met.