NWCCD 2023-2024 Catalog 
    Apr 18, 2024  
NWCCD 2023-2024 Catalog [This is an Archived Catalog.]

Early Childhood Education Certificate

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The NWCCD Early Childhood Education Certificate program is designed to enhance prospective and current early childhood teachers’ knowledge, experience, and competence in the early childhood education field.  The program aligns with the national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and the WY Early Childhood Apprentice Program.  The program provides theoretical foundations, practical applications, and field experiences in childcare, preschool, and early elementary school settings.  The NWCCD Early Childhood Certificate program prepares professionals to successfully work with diverse children and families and promote high quality programming for children from birth through eight years. Successful completion of this program will enable students to meet the entry level requirements for employment in an early childhood care and education setting.

Program Outcomes:

Standard #1: Child Development and Learning in Context Early childhood educators (a) are grounded in an understanding of the developmental period of early childhood from birth through age 8 across developmental domains. They (b) understand each child as an individual with unique developmental variations. Early childhood educators (c) understand that children learn and develop within relationships and within multiple contexts, including families, cultures, languages, communities, and society. They (d) use this multidimensional knowledge to make evidence-based decisions about how to carry out their responsibilities.

Standard #2: Family-Teacher Partnerships and Community Connections Early childhood educators understand that successful early childhood education depends upon educators’ partnerships with the families of the young children they serve. They (a) know about, understand, and value the diversity in family characteristics. Early childhood educators (b) use this understanding to create respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships with families and to engage with them as partners in their young children’s development and learning. They(c) use community resources to support young children’s learning and development and to support children’s families, and they build connections between early learning settings, schools, and community organizations and agencies.

Standard #3: Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment Early childhood educators (a) understand that the primary purpose of assessments is to inform instruction and planning in early learning settings. They (b) know how to use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment approaches and tools. Early childhood educators (c) use screening and assessment tools in ways that are ethically grounded and developmentally, culturally, ability, and linguistically appropriate to document developmental progress and promote positive outcomes for each child. Early childhood educators (d) build assessment partnerships with families and professional colleagues.

Standard #4: Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices Early childhood educators understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages and characteristics and on the settings in which teaching and learning occur. They (a) understand and demonstrate positive, caring, supportive relationships and interactions as the foundation for their work with young children. They (b) understand and use teaching skills that are responsive to the learning trajectories of young children and to the needs of each child. Early childhood educators (c) use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate and culturally and linguistically relevant, anti-bias, and evidence-based teaching approaches that reflect the principles of universal design for learning.

Standard #5: Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum Early childhood educators have knowledge of the content of the academic disciplines (e.g., language and literacy, the arts, mathematics, social studies, science, technology and engineering, physical education) and of the pedagogical methods for teaching each discipline. They (a) understand the central concepts, the methods and tools of inquiry, and the structures in each academic discipline. Educators (b) understand pedagogy, including how young children learn and process information in each discipline, the learning trajectories for each discipline, and how teachers use this knowledge to inform their practice They (c) apply this knowledge using early learning standards and other resources to make decisions about spontaneous and planned learning experiences and about curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that learning will be stimulating, challenging, and meaningful to each child.

Standard #6: Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator Early childhood educators (a) identify and participate as members of the early childhood profession. They serve as informed advocates for young children, for the families of the children in their care, and for the early childhood profession. They (b) know and use ethical guidelines and other early childhood professional guidelines. They (c) have professional communication skills that effectively support their relationships and work young children, families, and colleagues. Early childhood educators (d) are continuous, collaborative learners who (e) develop and sustain the habit of reflective and intentional practice in their daily work with young children and as members of the early childhood profession.

This program may be offered online.

Required Course of Study:

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