Sauk Valley Community College

an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

(F16) Early Childhood Education: Educator

College Catalog - F16

Program Description

(F16) Certificate

The Early Childhood Education certificate program will assist individuals in securing the education and credentials needed to obtain employment in child care facilities and/or schools. The advanced certificate allows individuals to obtain greater proficiency in the areas of study required in the field of Early Childhood Education, satisfies course requirements needed to serve as a teacher aide in the state of Illinois, and provides some educational course requirements for paraprofessional qualifications as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Advanced Certificate is also developed to meet the minimal requirement for approval as a qualified child care director at a freestanding facility.

The Department of Children and Family Services requires a director to be at least 21 years old, have completed two years of college and 18 hours of approved credit dealing with the very young child or have equivalent experience and credentials.

Work and Employment

The employment of elementary and secondary paraprofessionals is dependent upon publicly-funded resources. Most employment opportunities in this occupation will result from fairly high attrition or turnover. Many employment opportunities include part-time positions but full-time employment is available on a limited basis. These positions usually merit entry-level pay.

Advancement to other occupations related to child and adolescent care is possible with further education, training and experience.

Special Considerations

The Early Childhood Education Basic certificate must be completed prior to enrolling in the Early Childhood Education Advanced certificate.

Anyone interested in employment in the education field needs patience, a strong sense of service and the ability to relate well to children. Good interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Creativity and good problem-solving skills are desirable, as is a love of learning.

To be a Teacher Aide in Illinois, students must hold state approval based on 30 semester hours of college work. Students are required to file an Illinois State Board of Education Form 73-28 with their Regional Office of Education.

To be a Title I Paraprofessional, students must hold state approval as a Teacher Aide AND meet the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements. NCLB requirements can be met in one of three ways including completion of an associate’s degree (or higher), completion of two years of post-secondary study at an institution of higher education, or pass a State Paraprofessional Certification Exam.

For more information, refer to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website at <>.

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College
Counseling Office, 815/835-6354. 

Estimated Program Cost

The following figures are based on current tuition and fee rates and estimated per-credit-hour cost of attendance for the required number 32 credit hours.

Tuition and Fees $3,446.00 $9,302.00 $10,134.00
Course Fees $15.00 $15.00 $15.00
Room and Board $6,750.00 $6,750.00 $6,750.00
Books and Supplies $1,501.12 $1,501.12 $1,501.12
Total $11,712.12 $17,568.12 $18,400.12