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

FRCC's Early Childhood Education programs provide a strong student-focused, research- and competency-based education that ultimately has a positive impact on children, families and communities.

Our education degree options prepare students for a variety of roles within education. Students can earn an Early Childhood Education associate degree or take Early Childhood Education courses. 

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
  • Engaging and reflecting practice in the expansion of ongoing professional development
  • Our leadership role in developing a community of learners that 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 programs and the children and families our students will serve
  • The FRCC ECE program is working to lower costs to students by embedding Open Educational Resources (OER) in our courses.  The following courses currently use OER and will not require students to purchase a textbook: ECE 101, ECE 102, ECE 103, ECE 220, ECE 238, and ECE 256.


A.A. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4 semesters)

This 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).

As part of this degree, you will earn two certificates: Early Childhood Teacher and Early Childhood Assistant teacher.

Early Childhood Education degree: See required courses and descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

See Early Childhood Education Program Outcomes.

A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4 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 three certificates: Early Childhood Teacher, Early Childhood Assistant Teacher and Early Childhood Director. The program meets or exceeds all Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood licensing education requirements. CDHS also requires experience hours for certain jobs.

Early Childhood Education A.A.S. degree: See required courses and descriptions.

Transfer Options

Your Early Childhood Education degree 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 transferring:


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 and descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

Early Childhood Teacher

18 credits
(1 semester)

ECE This 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.




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 Paraeducator certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

Early Childhood Assistant 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.

Early Childhood Assistant Teacher certificate: See required courses and descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • FRCC has been awarded funding from the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) to support students in the ECE field. Funding is available for the 2022-2023 Academic Year and will be used for tuition reimbursement and/or individual stipends for students. View eligibility requirements.
  • Students that live in Larimer County and enroll in these certificates may be eligible for scholarship funding to help pay for tuition, fees and other expenses from the Larimer County Economic & Workforce Development (LCEWD) department.

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of the Early Childhood Education 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 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 in ECE 102: Introduction to Early Childhood Lab Techniques and in the practicums (ECE 180 and ECE 280).

Meet Early Childhood Education Job Requirements

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 Administrator $38,277
Childcare Worker $26,740
Teaching Assistant $26,965
Preschool Teacher* $27,484
Kindergarten Teacher* $36,523
Elementary School Teacher* $41,362
* Except special education
Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment
Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (2021)

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Students enrolling or continuing at Front Range Community College (FRCC) have a right to certain information that the college is required by law to provide. As a student applying for or attending the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program you have the right to know it meets the educational portion of the credentialing criteria for Colorado. It is possible that the degree/certificate may count toward licensing or certification in states other than Colorado. If you are planning to seek work outside of Colorado, it is strongly recommended that you contact that State’s certifying or licensing entity for guidance before you begin this program. State-by-state information is available at

This program meets the applicable state educational requirements for credentialing in Colorado as listed below:

FRCC has not determined if the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program meets applicable state prerequisites for licensure or certification in states other than Colorado. Other states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and U.S. Territories: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


from our blog
* Degree with designation