From welding to philosophy, FRCC has a program for you.

Is a bachelor's degree your goal? Our two-year associate degrees (A.A., A.S.) are guaranteed to transfer to four-year public schools in Colorado.

Need skills? Our technical degrees (A.A.S.) and certificates launch you into a career. Some certificates can be completed in just one semester.

Select a campus to see what programs are offered there.  Click on a program name for required classes, contacts, starting salaries, and more.

Early Childhood Education Degrees

Offered at: Boulder, Larimer, Westminster

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program provides a strong student-focused, research- and competency-based education program that ultimately has a positive impact on children, families and communities. We value:

  • Building culturally responsive and inclusive relationships with children and families in order to serve and support the community.
  • Teaching and learning by continually assessing the curriculum and program for responsiveness and accountability.
  • Enhancing the development of learning within the community.
  • Engaged and reflective practice in the expansion of ongoing professional development.
  • Our leadership role in developing a community of learners which embodies teaching and learning at all levels.
  • Advocating for the professionalization of our field.
  • The transformative power of inclusivity, diversity and equity - in both our program and the children and families our students will serve.


A.A. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4-5 semesters)

ECADA logoThis A.A. degree prepares students to transfer to one of several four-year institutions in Colorado to earn a Bachelor's degree and CDE License (see list of schools below). With this degree you will be qualified to teach preschool up to third grade (ages 0-8).

Early Childhood Education degree: See required courses by semester.

See list of A.A. degree requirements.

See early childhood course descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4-5 semesters)

This A.A.S. degree provides training for a career involving the care and education of young children from birth through age eight. Courses in theory and internship are combined to provide a comprehensive base of growth and development. Early intervention, high-risk, gifted, and developmentally delayed issues are included. As part of this degree, you will earn two certificates - Foundations in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Director. The program meets or exceeds all Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood licensing requirements.

Early Childhood Education A.A.S. degree: See required courses by semester.

See degree requirements.

See early childhood course descriptions

Transfer Options

Your A.A. degree in early childhood education will transfer to the following four-year schools. If you wish to transfer to a school not on this list, be sure to contact that institution about transfer credits accepted.

  • Adams State University (B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies with Elem. Ed. Licensure)
  • Colorado State University (B.S. Early Childhood Education)
  • Fort Lewis College (B.A. Early Childhood Education)
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (B.A. Early Childhood Education)
  • University of Colorado Denver (B.A. Education and Human Development – Early Childhood)
  • University of Northern Colorado (B.A. Early Childhood Teacher Education)
Learn more about transferrring:


Early Childhood Director

30 credits
(2 semesters)

This certificate program prepares students to meet state education requirements for CDHS Director certification. Curriculum development, child growth and development, and administrative skills are among focus areas. CDHS also requires experience hours.

Director certificate: See required courses by semester.

See list of certificate requirements.

See gainful employment information

Offered at all campuses and online.

Foundations of Early Childhood Education

18 credits
(1-2 semesters)

ECEThis certificate program provides students with the knowledge, techniques, and strategies to become qualified to be an early childhood teacher in Colorado. It meets or exceeds the education requirements for CDHS “Early Childhood Teacher (ECT).” CDHS also requires experience hours.

Early Childhood Teacher certificate: See required courses by semester.

See list of certificate requirements.

See gainful employment information

Offered at all campuses and online.

Early Childhood Education for Paraeducators

20 credits
(2 semesters)

This certificate program prepares you to work as a preschool paraeducator, or “para” to support teachers in inclusive classrooms. Students receive a wide range of knowledge and skills including a solid foundation in the normal patterns of growth and development, various disabilities, giftedness, developmentally appropriate teaching techniques, and learning styles of children with developmental delays.

Early Childhood Paraeduator certificate: See required courses by semester.

See list of certificate requirements.

See gainful employment information.

Offered at all campuses and online.


Assistant Early Childhood Teacher

6 credits 
(1 semester)

This certificate program gives you a solid foundation in the growth and development of infants and toddlers, plus advanced exposure in developing and implementing appropriate nurturing and developmental experiences. Working closely with parents is incorporated, as well as the issues of early intervention, high risk, and developmental delays.

Assistant Early Childhood Teacher certificate: See required courses by semester.

See certificate requirements.

Offered at all campuses and online.



What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  1. Identify, describe and apply research-based principles of child growth, development and learning.
  2. Use effective, ethical, authentic observation, documentation and assessment practices.
  3. Describe how to build strong family and community relationships.
  4. Identify, describe and apply effective and developmentally appropriate approaches to guidance.
  5. Explain the importance of health, safety and nutrition for the development of each child.
  6. Identify and cultivate ethical practices related to professional development and leadership for the field.
  7. Develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary for planning, administering and improving early childhood programs.
  8. Describe and employ effective and appropriate teaching practices.
  9. Successfully complete effective field experiences that reinforce the program's curriculum.
  10. Demonstrate responsiveness to diverse populations, regardless of ability, race, place, income, language, culture, religion, and gender.

Hands-on Experience with Children

Early Childhood Education students gain excellent field experience by observing and working in the classroom (as part of ECE 102, Introduction to Early Childhood Lab Techniques, and the ECE 180 and ECE 280 Practicums).

Meet Job Requirements

Need to meet job requirements for current or future employment? Our certificates and degrees can help you earn required formal education credits toward various credentialing and certifications in early childhood education. For more information, contact:

Early Childhood Education Jobs & Salaries

Jobs Entry Average Experienced
Preschool, Child Care Center Director $38,441
Child Care Worker $21,164
Teacher Assistant $22,605
Preschool Teacher* $22,771
Kindergarten Teacher* $36,561
Elementary School Teacher* $37,892
* Except special education
Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment
Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (2017)

from our blog
* Degree with designation