Early Childhood Gateways

Two Levels of Early Childhood Gateways Certificates

Choose which certificate works best for your path!

Level 2Level 3

Level 2 Certificate

This certificate is the entry point to earning credentials from the Illinois Gateways Entitled program to meet statewide standards in early childhood education. Completed in 30 weeks, this program introduces students to the care and education of children who have not yet entered kindergarten.

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher
  • Child Care Administrator/Director
  • Nanny
  • EC Aide
  • Preschool Instructor
  • Licensed Day Care Provider
group of people having a snack
Suggested Degree Plan for Early Childhood Gateways - Level 2 Certificate
Do not use this degree plan as a substitute for an advisor. Always meet with an advisor to discuss your specific needs for completing the program before signing up for classes each semester.
First Semester Details
EDU 102 Introduction to Early Childhood Education Details 3
An introduction to early childhood education philosophies and methods. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of planning developmentally appropriate interactions and techniques. Topics of study include age appropriate methodology, guiding child behavior, internal and external environments, and regulations affecting child care in today's changing world.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 124 Health and Safety for Young Children Details 3
Introduction to the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children. Topics include eating habits, menu planning, safe food storage and handling, recognizing common health concerns, creating a safe environment, and principles of child first aid and CPR for infants and children.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 150 Caring for Infants and Toddlers Details 3
Study of the specialized needs of infants and toddlers, including the development of routines and environments that promote effective cognitive, motor and language development. Emphasis is placed on providing appropriate care, stimulating environments, and assessing the needs of infants and toddlers. Cultural and social diversity and the creation of partnerships with families and childcare facilities are integrated throughout the course.
Prerequisites: (none)
FYE 101 Blazing Your Trail Details 1
Directed to new students, this course provides a supportive transition to the culture of higher education. Course objectives aim at preparing students for the college experience by acquiring effective learning techniques and by becoming aware of available college resources for academic and personal growth. This course also develops students' abilities, which will assist them with the complexities of college life.
Prerequisites: (none)
Second Semester Details
EDU 202 Child Growth and Development Details 3
The study of the development of the child from birth to age 12. Emphasis is given to the physical, motor, social, emotional, language, perceptual, cognitive, moral, psychological, and personality development. Observation of infant, preschool, or school-age child is required.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 271 Working with Families and the Community Details 3
An overview of the philosophies and specific techniques of developing partnerships with families in today's diverse society. Techniques to promote family involvement, communication, commitment, support and acceptance for the educational advantage of the child are emphasized. Field experiences and observations are required. Investigation of community resources that serve families.
Prerequisites: (none)

Gainful Employment: For more information about graduation rates, cost, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other information, please view our Gainful Employment information for the particular certificate of study.

Level 3 Certificate

Building on the Level 2 certificate, this program is completed in 45 weeks. Students expand on the fundamentals of caring for children, including organizing activities and providing a consistent, nurturing environment for development. Individuals with level 2 or 3 training serve as Early Head Start teachers, Head start teacher assistants, Early/Head Start home visitors, and supervised Licensed Child Care Center assistant teachers.

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher
  • Child Care Administrator/Director
  • Nanny
  • EC Aide
  • Preschool Instructor
  • Licensed Day Care Provider
students doing face painting
Suggested Degree Plan for Early Childhood Gateways - Level 3 Certificate
Do not use this degree plan as a substitute for an advisor. Always meet with an advisor to discuss your specific needs for completing the program before signing up for classes each semester.
First Semester Details
EDU 102 Introduction to Early Childhood Education Details 3
An introduction to early childhood education philosophies and methods. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of planning developmentally appropriate interactions and techniques. Topics of study include age appropriate methodology, guiding child behavior, internal and external environments, and regulations affecting child care in today's changing world.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 124 Health and Safety for Young Children Details 3
Introduction to the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children. Topics include eating habits, menu planning, safe food storage and handling, recognizing common health concerns, creating a safe environment, and principles of child first aid and CPR for infants and children.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 150 Caring for Infants and Toddlers Details 3
Study of the specialized needs of infants and toddlers, including the development of routines and environments that promote effective cognitive, motor and language development. Emphasis is placed on providing appropriate care, stimulating environments, and assessing the needs of infants and toddlers. Cultural and social diversity and the creation of partnerships with families and childcare facilities are integrated throughout the course.
Prerequisites: (none)
FYE 101 Blazing Your Trail Details 1
Directed to new students, this course provides a supportive transition to the culture of higher education. Course objectives aim at preparing students for the college experience by acquiring effective learning techniques and by becoming aware of available college resources for academic and personal growth. This course also develops students' abilities, which will assist them with the complexities of college life.
Prerequisites: (none)
Second Semester Details
EDU 202 Child Growth and Development Details 3
The study of the development of the child from birth to age 12. Emphasis is given to the physical, motor, social, emotional, language, perceptual, cognitive, moral, psychological, and personality development. Observation of infant, preschool, or school-age child is required.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 271 Working with Families and the Community Details 3
An overview of the philosophies and specific techniques of developing partnerships with families in today's diverse society. Techniques to promote family involvement, communication, commitment, support and acceptance for the educational advantage of the child are emphasized. Field experiences and observations are required. Investigation of community resources that serve families.
Prerequisites: (none)
Third Semester Details
EDU 215 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Details 3
Students will learn the methods of authentic, alternative classroom based assessment with young children. Opportunity given to gain knowledge and skills to observe, interpret and use information to respond to and support children's learning and development. Typical and atypical children will be studied and evaluated. Child observation is required.
Prerequisites: EDU 100 or EDU 102, and EDU 202
EDU 260 Curriculum for Early Childhood Programs Details 3
Philosophy, principles and methods for planning and implementing an educationally and developmentally age appropriate program for young children from infancy through eight years of age. Students will develop effective approaches to promote learning and assessment, family and community relationships and creative interdisciplinary environments.
Prerequisites: EDU 102, EDU 210, EDU 230, and EDU 240 (may be taken concurrently with consent of department)
Gateways to Opportunity Requirements Details
Various Gateways to Opportunity Requirements Details 9
Per Gateways to Opportunity requirements, 9 semester hours of general education coursework must also be completed for the Level 3 certificate. These are must be credit bearing. The courses listed below are recommended, however, any 9 credit hours of general education electives will be accepted.
CMN 101 Introduction to Speech I Details 3
An introduction to the basic principles of oral communication as applied to public speaking. The course emphasizes the mastery of oral communication skills through a variety of exercises in which the student speaks before the group. Involves analysis of such topics as preparation, organization, and delivery.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 201 Educational Psychology Details 3
A study of the application of the principles of psychology to the field of education and a review of educational research in the areas of motivation, intelligence, measurement, evaluation, the learning process, learning styles, and the impact of culture in education. Observational experiences may be included.
Prerequisites: PSY 101
ENG 101 Rhetoric and Composition I Details 3
An introductory course in writing at the college level with attention to skills needed at each stage of the writing process. Placement in ENG 101 presupposes competence in English grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and spelling.
Prerequisites: ENG 099 with a grade of "C" or above or appropriate placement score
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology Details 3
Basic introduction to the major areas of psychology--the study of behavior and the mind. Areas of emphasis include human development, personality theory, learning, thinking, stress and motivation, mental illnesses, and biological and social aspects of behavior. Course will combine research with real life application throughout.
Prerequisites: (none)
SOC 224 Marriage and the Family Details 3
The social context of marriage and family patterns in the current American society; nature, purpose and obligations of marriage and family.
Prerequisites: (none)

Gainful Employment: For more information about graduation rates, cost, the median debt of students who complete the program, and other information, please view our Gainful Employment information for the particular certificate of study.