Early Childhood Education

Service-Learning Manager Kate DeGraaf and KCC students lead elementary school students in exercises in a classroom at Dudley STEM School.

KCC’s Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education degree is one of six online associate degrees offered at KCC! To apply to the online program, contact KCC’s Admissions Office at 269-965-4153 or [email protected].

Early childhood education is a fascinating and dynamic field that focuses on children’s growth and development between the ages of birth and age 8. Early childhood professionals recognize that children have predictable stages of development and learn best through active play and by developing relationships with their peers and the adults around them.

KCC’s Early Childhood Education Program aspires to teach individuals to become the best early childhood professionals possible, thereby increasing the quality of early childhood services in our communities.

KCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education as well as Child Development Associate (CDA) training. The sequence of classes recommended for students seeking an associate degree credential follows.

For more information about KCC’s Early Childhood Education Program, see:

Associate in Applied Science: Early Childhood Education

KCC believes high-quality early childhood training impacts the quality of school readiness and school success provided in any community. KCC’s Early Childhood Education Program is competency-based and offers a wide variety of training options to meet each individual student’s needs.

The KCC ECE Program provides specific courses to help students meet the State of Michigan Child Care Licensing Regulations for child care providers; federal mandates for Head Start teaching staff; and the State of Michigan Department of Education Great Start Readiness training guidelines for preschool paraprofessionals.

Full-Time ECE Course Sequence

Students interested in attending Kellogg Community College as a full-time student to obtain an Associate in Applied Science Early Childhood Education should follow the current program map.

Part-Time ECE Course Sequence

For a recommended four-semester sequence of ECE courses for part-time students seeking the Associated in Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education, please contact the Early Childhood and Teacher Education Department at 269-565-2109.

Transfer Opportunities

Students may opt for transfer planning to universities to study majors in child development, elementary education and other related fields. Many students use specific courses to meet the State of Michigan Department of Education guidelines for Michigan Teacher Certification continuing training hours.

View Transfer Guides which outline opportunities for students looking to transfer their KCC credits to a four-year institution. Contact Academic Advising at 269-965-4124 or [email protected] to schedule an appointment to plot a personal transfer plan or contact KCC’s Early Childhood and Teacher Education Department at 269-565-2109.

Early Childhood Education Careers

KCC’s Early Childhood Education graduates are qualified to work in a variety of settings, including Head Start programs, child care centers, preschools, schools, hospitals, family programs and licensed child care homes. Early childhood education careers offer variety, growth and opportunities to interact with, value and support the diverse cultures of children and families.

The U.S. Department of Labor expects growth in demand in the early childhood education field due to a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education, the growing population of children ages 3 to 5 and the continued demand for child care for children up to age 5. Employment of childcare workers is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2012 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations, and employment of preschool teachers and directors is expected to grow by 35 percent from 2012 to 2020, also faster than the average for all occupations.

Possible job titles for graduates with an education in early childhood education include:

  • Child care provider
  • Early childhood advocate
  • Early interventionist
  • Education curriculum specialist
  • Family/group home provider
  • Home visitor
  • Infant/toddler specialist
  • Licensing consultant
  • Parent educator
  • Preschool teacher
  • Program director

Projected Job Outlook & Salary Info

For the latest employment and wage estimates for early childhood education careers in Michigan, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Why Study Early Childhood Education at KCC?

KCC is a nationally accredited, affordable two-year college that provides high-quality Early Childhood Education courses. Many students choose to transfer KCC Early Childhood Education courses to four-year universities. KCC’s faculty are well-qualified instructors with a passion for teaching, and the college’s small class sizes create a more interactive and personal learning environment. KCC bases the content of all ECE courses on NAEYC’s Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation and the ECE Program is also an approved Michigan Career Development Occupational Program.
Circular NAEYC logo with the phrase Early Childhood Higher Education around it.


The Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education at Kellogg Community 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. The current accreditation term runs from March 2021 through March 2023.

NAEYC Outcome Measure 1 – Percentage of Program Completers

Academic Year Number of Program Completers Percentage of Program Completers Attending Full-Time at Time of Completion Percentage of Program Completers Attending Part-Time at Time of Completion  Percentage of Program Completers Not Enrolled* at Time of Completion
FA/20-SU/21 25 8.00% 68.00% 24.00%
FA/19-SU/20 28 14.29% 64.29% 21.42%
FA/18-SU/19 31 9.68% 48.39% 41.93%

*Kellogg Community College does not require students to be currently enrolled in a given semester when they apply to graduate with an associate degree or certificate. These students are program/certificate completers and noted as “Not Enrolled”.

NAEYC Outcome Measure 2 – Program Completion Rate

Academic Year in Which a Fall Cohort of Full-time Candidates Enrolled in the Program Percentage of Those Candidates Who Completed the Program Within 150% of Published Timeframe¹ Percentage of Those Candidates Who Completed the Program Within 300% of Published Timeframe
FA/15-SU/16 1.00% 2.00%
FA/14-SU/15 1.00% 1.00%
FA/13-SU/14 0% 0%

¹ The Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education degree can be obtained within two years, spanning four semesters.

NAEYC Outcome Measure 3 – Fall-to-Fall Retention Rate

Academic Year Percent of Part-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program Retention Rate Among Part-Time Candidates Percent of Full-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program Retention Rate Among Full-Time Candidates
FA/20-FA/21 76.85% 40.96% 23.15% 32.00%
FA/19-FA/20 76.47% 25.64% 23.53% 41.67%
FA/18-FA/19 83.44% 40.48% 16.56% 40.00%


The Kellogg Community College Early Childhood Education Program’s mission is to prepare candidates:

  • with the knowledge, practices, and attitudes necessary to support young children’s healthy growth and development;
  • to conduct themselves as early childhood professionals implementing ethical decision making and self-reflection;
  • to lead and advocate for quality early childhood programming among their peers and in their communities;
  • to recognize best practices and quality standards;
  • to serve as a resource in the communities we serve; and
  • to respect diverse families and to support each child.

A conceptual graphic featuring a person sitting against the trunk of a tree that made of the phrase "positive relationships." Words branching off read communication, collaboration, service, engagement, community, application, experience, observations, field placement, inclusion, diversity, equity, opportunity, best practice, curriculum, theory, and framework.

Conceptual Framework

What do we value as a professional early childhood program? The ECE Program believes:

  • Building positive relationships is an essential task and a foundational component of early childhood education.
  • Curriculum should incorporate teaching modalities that focus on practice, reflection and research-based active learning experiences.
  • Diversity is respected through equitable learning opportunities for all candidates to ensure each person’s strengths, cultural background, languages, abilities and experiences are valued.
  • Candidates must have opportunity for hands-on experience and application to develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions required of all early childhood education professionals.
  • Community engagement is crucial to ensuring positive, long-lasting residual effects amongst outcomes and overall effectiveness.

Flexible Classes

Most of KCC’s Early Childhood Education courses are offered in the evening or online to meet the needs of nontraditional students, allowing students more flexibility in their class schedule. Additionally, students may take many ECE classes on campuses in Barry, Branch and Calhoun counties. KCC’s ECE students are diverse and busy, and KCC strives to provide courses that allow students convenience without limiting quality.

Hands-On Experience

Each Early Childhood Education at KCC student receives individualized advising. KCC’s ECE courses are hands-on and meaningful, and are taught by instructors who have up-to-date skills and knowledge, as many are actively working in the ECE field. Additional training opportunities including Child Development Associate (CDA) training and ECE internships are also offered.