Sauk Academic programs

Early Childhood Education

This program aligns to the AAS/Gateways to Opportunity ECE and ITC Level 4 credentials.

The Early Childhood Education program provides the academic background and practical experience for people interested in careers in education, including infant, preschool and school-age child care in early childhood centers, family child care homes, parent education, and early childhood program supervision. Coursework focuses on theory, research and program practice pertaining to children prenatal to early school age. Students will have the opportunity to observe and assess children's behaviors and to work directly with children in a supervised setting. This program provides a comprehensive course of study, including physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young children, curriculum development, literature and language arts, creative activities for teaching art, music, math and science, behavior guidance, health and nutrition, and one supervised practicum experience.

Credential Program Description

Students enrolled in Early Childhood programs at Sauk Valley Community College will be eligible to complete credentials through Gateways to Opportunity Illinois Professional Development System for ECE and ITC Levels 2, 3 and 4. Benefits of this credentialing process increase a student's employability and make students eligible for scholarship opportunities and wage differentials. Students must earn a "C" or better in all ECE courses used to fulfill Gateways to Opportunity  credentialing requirements. 

The Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity allows for transfer of ECE community college career degrees in their entirety (including Gateways Level 4 and a 2.0/4.0 CGPA) to participating four-year schools with junior-level standing.

Work and Employment

The early childhood education program is designed to educate professionals for a diverse and challenging field. Employment opportunities for graduates of the early childhood education program are very positive, whether pursuing a career in a group day care, preschool setting, or in family care.

Criminal History Check Policy

Illinois law requires licensed early childhood programs to conduct a criminal background investigation on applicants for employment. Employment of individuals who have been convicted of committing or attempting to commit offenses that may put children in harm's way is prohibited. Laws vary according to the agency and their licensing body.

Students who perform classroom observations through coursework at Sauk Valley Community College may be required by the selected school/site to undergo a criminal background check prior to placement. Students may be denied at any observation site based on the results of that check.

Students who feel their criminal background may exclude them from observation or employment should seek counseling with SVCC faculty or advising staff early in their program to determine how it may affect their participation and eligibility.

Estimated Program Cost

The following figures are based on 2024-25 tuition and fee rates and the course fees in the Class Schedule for the required minimum number 61 credit hours.

Tuition $9,150.00 $21,960.00 $24,522.00
Fees $1,098.00 $1,098.00 $1,098.00
Course Fees * $740.00 * $740.00 * $740.00
Total Tuition and Fees $10,988.00 $23,798.00 $26,360.00

* Note: Course fees may vary depending upon the classes that a student completes within an academic program. The course fee above is only an estimation and represents the maximum course fees possible; it is likely that course fees will be lower than the estimation above.