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Early Childhood

 Little girl at daycare  little boy at daycare  Two children at daycare

Do you enjoy working with children?
Are you ready to make a positive difference in the lives of children?
Would you like to be an advocate for families?

Become an Early Childhood teacher, assistant teacher or family childcare provider!

Itasca offers a 60-credit Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education
and a 16-credit Child Development Certificate.

Early Childhood Education, AS Degree - Official Program Planner

The Associate of Science degree prepares you for employment as an assistant teacher in a licensed preschool or
an infant/toddler classroom, as well as a provider for family childcare homes and extended day programs in the school. 

The A.S. degree is the first two years of a four-year Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood.  To easily allow students to continue their education, Itasca Community College has a signed articulation agreement with Mayville State University in North Dakota. This agreement allows students to complete their final two years of a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood online through Mayville State.  Upon graduation, students will be prepared for employment as a lead teacher in preschools and infant/toddler classrooms for Head Start and licensed child care centers. For more information, visit the Mayville State University Website.

Child Development Certificate Official Program Planner

The Child Development Certificate (CDC) is a 16-credit program that addresses all required components of the National CDC and prepares you for employment as an assistant teacher in a licensed childcare program as well as a provider for family childcare.

Students are eligible for the National CDC with the completion of:
- a resource file
- observation and testing
- an additional 360 early childhood classroom contact hours

On-Site Teaching Experience

As part of the Early Childhood Program, you will be involved in a professional experience through an on-site teaching practicum. Opportunities are also available for you to earn income while gaining credit and experience through these practicums. This experience can be included on your resume, and quite often, these opportunities lead to employment for our students.

Employment Opportunities

The prospects for employment in early childhood are excellent. Itasca County has been the recipient of a large Blandin Foundation grant for an Early Childhood Collaborative Initiative since 2005 (Invest Early).  This grant has greatly increased the opportunities for employment in the early childhood field in our area.  The Early Childhood program at ICC has been a partner with Invest Early since 2005.

Itasca County has also recently been chosen (2012) as one of four sites in Minnesota to receive Race to the Top grant funding for Early Childhood. Learn more about Race to the Top on the MPR website.

Read about recent graduates from the Early Childhood program getting jobs in this newspaper article from the Herald Review.

Child Development Certificate Gainful Employment Information

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T.E.A.C.H Scholarships


T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA, a project of Child Care Aware of Minnesota, is a scholarship program intended to help early childhood and school-age care professionals increase their levels of education, compensation and commitment to the field. T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) has a history of helping Minnesota child care professionals earn college credits, degrees and credentials.


Benefits vary depending on scholarship type, but for most scholarship recipients, T.E.A.C.H. covers the majority of tuition and textbook purchases while also providing a travel stipend and paid release time. After increasing their education, T.E.A.C.H. recipients often see their wages, opportunities and professional recognition grow.

Program Offers

- Small class sizes
- A learning community
- Strong relationship with Early Childhood programs in the community
- Variety of class delivery methods: in class, hybrid (in class and online) and online courses
- Courses offered in the evenings and/or online to accommodate employment and practicum opportunities


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If you have questions or need additional information about the early childhood program at Itasca, please contact:

Chris Mutchler