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Early Childhood Education: Educator Assistant

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Academic Programs

Early Childhood Education: Educator Assistant - Certificate (F15)

This program aligns to the Gateways ECE Level 2 credential which includes completion of a high school diploma or GED.

The Early Childhood Education certificate program will assist individuals in securing the education and credentials needed to obtain employment in child care facilities. This certificate has been developed to assist persons to meet the minimal requirements for approval as an early childhood assistant.

Credential Program Description

Students enrolled in Early Childhood programs at Sauk Valley Community College will be eligible to complete credentials through Gateways to Opportunities state professional development system for ECE levels 2, 3 and 4. Benefits of this credentialing process increase a student's employability through ExceleRate Illinois and makes students eligible for scholarship opportunities and wage differentials. Students must earn a "C" or better in all ECE courses used to fulfill Gateways credentialing requirements.

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 group day care or preschool settings, 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.

Follow this link for career information.

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College

  • Academic Advising, 815-835-6354
  • Beth Smaka, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, 815-835-6388

Total Hours Required - 18 Hours

Major Field Requirements

  • ECE114 - Child Care and Development ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the theory and principles of human growth and development from conception through adolescence. Content includes an in-depth study of the inter-relatedness of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development. Development is studied in the context of family, gender, culture, language, ability, socioeconomics, diversity, and society. Special emphasis will be on the theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and Gardner. Field observations are required. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 912 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE115 - Prin Early Child Educ ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This survey course provides an overview of early childhood care and education including historical and cultural perspectives, organization, structure, programming, and evidence-based practices. Professional and evidence-based practices of highly qualified early childhood educators are outlined with an emphasis on their ability to enhance development and learning of each and every child between the ages of birth and eight. Considerations for diversity of culture, language, race, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, and ability will be included. Students will spend a minimum of 15 hours of observation in diverse early childhood settings. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE118 - Parent-Teachr-Child-Comm Relat ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course focuses on the child in the context of family, school and community. An analysis of the contemporary American family will be discussed, with emphasis on the individual family interactions within the larger societal context. The course will examine the interplay of diverse cultures, lifestyles, language and communication with the role of school and other community institutions. Students will gain an understanding of their professional role in supporting practices that strengthen respectful family/child relationships through effective use of community and family resources. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 915 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE228 - Child Health-Nutrition-Safety ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children and early childhood practices to ensure the health and well-being of each child in a group setting. Content includes roles and responsibilities of adults in meeting children's diverse needs, the promotion of healthy life style practices, understanding common childhood illnesses and injuries, meeting health, nutrition and safety standards, and planning nutritious meals that are appropriate for each child. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • PED220 - Rhythms & Games for Children ( 3 Semester Hours)

    Methods of administering, supervising and teaching the major areas of rhythms, games, testing and apparatus in the elementary school grades. The course is designed to fit the needs of the classroom teacher in approaching the area of learning. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lecture NOTES: All courses may be selected as an elective course in all programs. All one credit activity courses may be repeated for a total of two credits.

  • PSY103 - Introduction to Psychology ( 3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to introduce the student to major concepts, theories, principles, and research in the field of psychology. This course will survey the scientific study of human and animal characteristics and behavior. Major topics from biological, behavioral, cognitive, personality, developmental, abnormal, and social psychology theory and research will be emphasized. Universal characteristics and individual differences will be explored 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S6 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week