Early Childhood Education (ECED)

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education is one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation. Green River College offers both degree and certificate programs with opportunities to specialize in a variety of areas.

Areas of employment

Early Childhood Education graduates often work in a classroom, child-care setting or home with young children, planning developmentally appropriate curriculum and scheduling activities to meet children’s physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs. The early childhood professional works closely with families and other specialists in order to ensure optimum development during the early years.

Green River College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Arts Degree program and certificate programs to prepare graduates for employment in a variety of settings with children. This curriculum is also designed to provide meaningful instruction for parents, foster parents, day-care parents, persons working with young children, school aides, and paraeducators.

When can new students enroll?

You may enter Green River’s Early Childhood Education program at any time during the school year on a space-available basis. Classes are offered during the day, evenings, and on the Internet to meet the needs of students currently employed in the field.


Complete an application to Green River College, complete the COMPASS assessment, and meet with an advisor.

You must have at least 10th grade reading skills.

Some courses are prerequisites to other courses. Check with your advisor.

How long does the program take?

It depends on you. If you are attending Green River full time, you can complete the Associate in Applied Arts degree in two years. If you are attending part time, completion will depend on how many credits per quarter you earn. Certificates can be completed in two or more quarters.

Special fees

Some classes have modest lab fees.

What will contribute to success in the program?

  • You should have an interest in developing and maintaining positive, collaborative relationships with families.
  • You should have a willingness to work effectively with diverse populations.

Special program notes

Here's what Green River's Early Childhood Education program offers you:

  • A solid core of classes in Early Childhood Education, integrating cultural relevancy and anti-bias practices into the curriculum.
  • An opportunity to choose from many different work settings upon graduation.
  • Supervised practicums in early childhood settings that combine theory with hands-on experience.
  • Opportunities exist within Project TEACH, a teacher preparation program that recruits students from area high schools and the community to begin their teaching careers at Green River. Check out:

Does the program transfer to four-year schools?

The two-year and the certificate programs are designed to prepare you for immediate employment. However, a second option is available for those students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Students should consult with their advisors to match course selection with transfer institution requirements.

Employment outlook

The employment outlook is excellent. There is a high demand for trained and educated early childhood personnel.

The Career Development and Employment Services Center maintains contact with employers hiring individuals trained in early childhood. The staff also help students write resumes and develop interviewing skills.

Salary range

The starting salary range for Early Childhood Education graduates is $9 to $15 per hour.