Early Childhood Education, AAS & Certificate
The Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree prepares competent early childhood professionals for working with young children and families. The degree prepares students by providing opportunities to gain specialized knowledge and implement best practices in early childhood settings. This Degree is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation.
The Early Childhood Education AAS Degree prepares competent early childhood professionals for working with young children and families. Students are provided opportunities to gain specialized knowledge and implement best practices in early childhood settings. CAC ECE students are provided with hands-on opportunities to share SEEDS of knowledge with others and learn and grow as professionals. Students who participate in ECE coursework and practicums learn to demonstrate our Core Values: Diversity and Equity, Reciprocal Relationships, Developmentally and Culturally Appropriate Practices, and Advocacy, Ethics and Professionalism.
This degree is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs.
Transfer, Career, Apprentice and Scholarship Resources
Many students who start their college career at Central Arizona College plan to continue on for a bachelor’s degree. If you plan to transfer, our Transfer Center has many resources to help you make the most of your time at CAC and plan for a smooth and successful transfer.
If you are interested in transferring to a university to complete a baccalaureate degree, you can review our transfer pathways and schedule an appointment with an Early Childhood Advisor.
The ECE Department currently has transfer pathways and agreements in place with the following universities:
The Career Center is where students can find up-to-date resources in career assessment, resume development, interview preparation, and internships and more.
The Arizona Early Childhood Educator Apprenticeship Pathway is a 2-year program designed to provide job seekers and early learning professionals with a blend of college coursework, mentorship and on the job experience resulting in a more highly trained workforce and increased compensation for those who complete the program. Visit centralaz.edu/azeceapprenticeship for more information.
The Professional Career Pathway Project (PCPP) is a scholarship funded by the Department of Economic Security Child Care Administration through Federal Child Care Development Block Grant Funds. If you are currently working in the field of early childhood (in an AZDES certified family child care or center based program) PCPP will pay college tuition for up to 24 credits a year and provide a stipend for books. CAC is the administrative home of this scholarship and our ECE advisors can help you apply. Visit centralaz.edu/pcpp for more information.
First Things First College Scholarship
The FTF College Scholarship provides the early childhood workforce working directly with or on behalf of young children birth through age five access to education and training to achieve degrees, credentials and specialized skills to promote children’s development. For more information please review the following links:
General Information – FTF College Scholarship Program.
Application Process – Tutorial
Student Checklist – Scholarship Application Checklist
Resources and Information
Early Learning Centers
The ECE Department, in collaboration with the Easterseals Blake Foundation, provides year-round child care at Early Learning Centers at the Signal Peak Campus and Superstition Mountain Campuses. The Centers also serve as lab sites for field experience for CAC students.
The centers accept DES subsidies and CCAMPIS child care scholarships are available for Pell-Eligible students. Click here to learn more.
Other Helpful Resources and Links
The CAC Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree at Central Arizona College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from March 2014 through March 2021.
NAEYC’s higher education accreditation system accredits programs preparing individuals for beginning career roles as early childhood educators. NAEYC awards accreditation to programs that demonstrate evidence of excellence by meeting the NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators.
The CAC Early Childhood Education AAS Degree is one of only three NAEYC Accredited Associate Degrees in Arizona. To learn more about our Mission, Vision and Core Values of our program please view our Conceptual Framework
Access CAC’s Early Childhood student outcomes data here.
Faculty and Staff
ECE Lead Faculty/Director
Academic Program Assistant