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About the Early Childhood Education and Care Program

Are you considering the ECEC academic program at COD for a career in Early Childhood Education?

If you are interested in the ECEC program, please read the following information about the program and how to get started.

What jobs are available with an ECEC certificate or degree?

Jobs for ECEC degree and certificate graduates are widely available in a variety of child care centers, in public school preschools (as assistants), at park districts, and other facilities working with children in various capacities. Educational credentials earned and place of employment will determine the position you will be hired for such as; assistant teacher, lead teacher, assistant director or director etc.

*Those seeking employment in a school district for Early Childhood Education, grades preK-2, will want to look into transfer options at COD as you will need to attend a 4 yr college to obtain your degree and PEL (Professional Educator License). You can find more information on state licensure through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Will I be able to get a job with my degree or certificate?

The Early Childhood Education and Care program prepares students with the academic requirements needed to enter the early childhood education and care field. Our ECEC certificates and degrees equip students with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to appropriately work with infants, toddlers, preschool, and school-age children. 

The College of DuPage Early Childhood program is an entitled institution through Gateways to Opportunity. Gateways awards state recognized credentials, which will make you more marketable when applying for jobs in this field. As an entitled institution, the successful completion of a certificate or degree in early childhood from COD makes you eligible to apply for a variety of Gateways Leveled Credentials.

Hiring guidelines will vary depending on your place of employment. Students will all need to meet the minimum requirements, for teachers, assistant teachers, and directors, listed in Subpart D of the DCFS Licensing requirements.

To be considered for a job in early childhood education students must also meet the following requirements: updated medical form (with proof of all required immunizations), cleared fingerprint background check, physical exam stating that your physical and mental health do not interfere with child care responsibilities, and evidence that you meet all of the additional ‘General Requirements for Personnel’ found in section 407.100 of the DCFS Licensing Requirements.

What courses should I start with?

There are a few courses in the ECEC program that are considered prerequisite courses. Students must complete these courses with a “C” or better before they can take many of the second level ECEC courses. These courses are ECEC 1100, ECEC 1101, and ECEC 2211.

*New students who want to learn more about the field of Early Childhood Education and Care BEFORE they make a commitment to the program are advised to register for at least one of the introductory courses (ECEC 1100, ECEC 1101, or ECEC 2211) as their first course.

New students who have decided to commit to the ECEC program should register for up to three of the following courses to begin the program: ECEC 1100, ECEC 1101, and/or ECEC 2211

 **All of these courses listed above require a reading prerequisite of Reading Category 1.

You can refer to the following COD website regarding placement testing.

Upon meeting the reading prerequisite, students can register for any of those courses mentioned above.

Students can also register for any ECEC elective course without a prerequisite.

**Please note, although there is currently no writing prerequisite for the ECEC courses, it is HIGHLY recommended that students have strong college level writing skills. Each of the ECEC courses require written reports associated with field observations and/or lab experiences. ENGLI 1101 or Writing Category 1 is recommended.

Is there anything else I should know about the ECEC program?

All of the ECEC courses will require students to complete field observations and/or lab experiences. Field observations are completed outside of classroom time in a licensed childcare facility. Some of these may be completed at the childcare facility on campus and some must be completed at other licensed childcare centers in the community. Students will be responsible for contacting childcare centers on their own to make arrangements to complete the field observation hours for each course. Students will also be responsible for their own transportation to/from observation sites. The written reports associated with the field observations are designed to give students the opportunity to apply course content.

Since students will be in community childcare centers and in contact with children, students are evaluated in a variety of ways throughout the program to ensure adherence to ECEC program requirements and policies, developmentally appropriate practice, as well as adherence to DCFS licensing standards and the NAEYC ethical code of conduct.

Who should I contact?

If you are ready to register for your courses OR if you are a new student OR if you have any questions regarding any part of the registration process, you should contact the registration office

New students interested in the ECEC program, but still seeking some direction, will benefit from career counseling advice. These students should meet with a counselor/advisor to discuss career options and decide on the courses they should take their first semester.

Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services, Student Services Center (SSC), Room 3200, (630) 942-2259 or contact a counselor.

Students who are currently in the ECEC program, and plan on continuing in the ECEC program to earn an ECEC certificate and/or degree, are advised to meet with a full-time ECEC faculty member


Contact Information

Christine Jandak, Program Advisor
Early Childhood Education and Care and Education Programs
Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2H01F
Email: jandakc@cod.edu
Direct line: (630) 942-2981
For appointments, contact Counseling & Advising

Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division Office
Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2E06
(630) 942-2010