Investing in Children

Early Childhood Ed

The early years shape a life. Research in child development has demonstrated that during the years from birth through 6 years old, important growth occurs in all domains, including social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and physical development. The early childhood educator – whether a teacher, family or child care provider – plays a critical role in fostering children’s development and investing in their future.

In OCCC’s Early Childhood Education program, we offer you the skills you need to succeed in the world of early childhood development, early childhood education centers, preschool programming, infant and toddler care, and family child care programs. Employment opportunities may include teaching assistant, child care aide, lead teacher, family child care provider and program director.

Earn a certificate

Career Pathway Certificate: Early Childhood Education

To see what classes you’d need to take to earn these awards, consult our program brochure.

Prospective students should note that a completed not-for-credit credential (the CDA: Child Development Associate and the Oregon Registry Step 7) may apply to the Early Childhood Education program and the student’s transcript for program credit. Please speak with a program advisor for more details.

What’s Next?

Complete the steps for new students

Plan how you’ll pay for college

Read information packet and meet with an advisor

Program development was supported in part by funding from Meyer Memorial Trust through their Equitable Education Portfolio, and through a collaboration with the Lincoln County School District.


Teaching Small Children

Preparing You for State Certification

Oregon Coast Community College’s Early Childhood Education program is designed to accommodate the part-time and full-time student. Early education courses can be used to fulfill training and education requirements for family child care providers and child care teachers in Oregon.

The National Association for the education of Young Children’s minimum suggested training for teachers is an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education (E.C.E.). All courses and competencies mastered at the certificate level apply to the A.A.S. degree. Early education classes meet state continuing education requirements for teachers and family child care providers.

While in the program, students must:
  • Receive a grade of “C ” or better in every required early education class in order to receive a certificate or degree
  • Meet practicum competencies for the certificate and degree.


Practicum (student teaching) is a required component of the program. Practicum allows students to develop skills in working with children in a group setting using developmentally appropriate methods.

Before students can begin practicum, they must submit documentation of registration with Oregon’s Criminal History Registry, of measles immunization, and of a current Food Handler’s Card. All required forms are available from the program office. Students are advised to begin gathering this documentation early (well before practicum begins). Students who have not submitted the required documentation to their practicum instructor may not begin practicum.


Early Childhood Education graduates will acquire:

  • Excellent communication skills, including excellent verbal and written English skills
  • Understanding of their role as professionals in the field
  • Ability to implement observation and guidance techniques to address children’s needs
  • Ability to develop and plan activities and environments appropriate for individual children and for diverse groups of children and their families.

Roadmap_Early Childhood Education

What will I do on the job?

Teachers and home care providers plan the environment and develop suitable learning experiences for young children in care and education situations. They supervise play and meet physical needs of small children. They assess children’s progress and discuss a child’s development with parents. As a specialist, you will work closely with young children and their families as the children learn to communicate, solve problems and work and play together. It will be your job to help provide an environment that fosters growth and self-esteem – a place where children can thrive. Early childhood graduates may also work in related fields such as child care resource and referral.

What skills will I use on the job?

OCCC’s program is designed to develop your ability to understand children and their families; observe and assess children; guide children individually and in groups; plan and implement activities; develop and maintain environments where children will thrive; supervise assistants or other teachers; communicate with parents daily and in formal conferences; refer families and children with special needs to appropriate community resources; provide nutritious snacks; identify and correct safety hazards; and maintain children’s and a center’s records.

Who will hire me?

Graduates of this program are hired by Head Start programs, day-care centers, parent cooperative preschools, private preschools and kindergartens, and resource and referral agencies. Public schools hire graduates as teaching assistants and parents hire graduates as nannies. Most jobs are located in or near cities. Some graduates also start their own in-home childcare and preschool programs.


Oregon Coast Community College is committed to providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities throughout the College community. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Our philosophy is to maximize your independence and self-reliance, providing a variety of support options to assist you in achieving your educational and/or vocational objectives. To receive services, you must submit documentation of your disabling condition(s) to the Dean of Students. To initiate support services, please contact the Dean of Students at 541-867-8511 or Students are responsible for requesting, in a timely manner, accommodation and documenting the nature and extent of their disability.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

The College prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in any area, activity or operation of the College. The College also prohibits retaliation against an individual for engaging in activity protected under this policy, and interfering with rights or privileges granted under anti-discrimination laws. In addition, the College complies with applicable provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), related Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA’), and all local and state civil rights laws. Under this policy, equal opportunity for employment, admission, and participation in the College’s programs, services, and activities will be extended to all persons, and the College will promote equal opportunity and treatment through application of this policy and other College efforts designed for that purpose.

Persons having questions about equal opportunity and nondiscrimination should contact either:
Dean of Students Cindy Carlson 541-867-8511

Human Resources Manager Joy Gutknecht 541-867-8515

Questions can also be mailed to their attention at:
400 SE College Way, Newport, OR  97366.