Early Childhood Education – Basic


The Early Childhood Education - Basic Certificate prepares students for positions as assistant teachers in childcare centers. This certificate can be completed as a student works toward an Early Childhood Education Associate in Applied Science degree.

support in the ICC Academic Support Center

The ability to guide learning of young children using play-based strategies is the ‘gold standard’ of teaching according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Basic Certificate offers you a strong foundation of knowledge in early childhood education so you can be an effective assistant teacher.

A Quality Education

Completing this certificate qualifies the student for an Illinois Gateways level 2 ECE Credential.

Get Involved

Students get experience at the ICC Children’s Center, which is accredited at the highest levels and serves as a “gold standard” for teacher candidates.

Career Opportunities

Childcare Worker, Assistant Teacher, Professional Nanny or Caregiver


12 Months

if Full Time

2 Semesters
18 Total Credit Hours

What if I attend part-time?

Our Student Success Advisors help with an academic plan that works for you.



+ supplies & fees

Based on 2023-24

What financial assistance can I receive?

Find the plan right for you by connecting with our Financial Aid office.


10 Students

average per class

Small class sizes mean more individual attention and a higher rate of success.

View the College Catalog to see a complete list of classes for this program.

Meet Our Students and Alumni

Andrea Walton
John Knapp
A Hidden Gem of CTE Programs: ICC Interpreter Preparation
Local Student Embraces His Indigenous Roots at ICC

What we do is more than ‘just’ play. We facilitate learning, even in infants and toddlers.

Andrianna Smyrniotis, Professor and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator
Let’s Get Started ▸

How Do I Get Into the Early Childhood Education – Basic Program?

This certificate is your first step toward starting your career as an Early Childhood Education professional. Talk to Admissions representative today to learn how to get started.

  1. Complete our quick admissions application. It’s free and easy!
  2. Apply for financial aid (FAFSA).
  3. Apply for ICC Scholarships. Just 1 application for over 600 scholarships.
  4. High school courses in English, communications, and child development are beneficial for this program.
  5. Previous childcare or babysitting experience is beneficial.

What Can I Expect As an Early Childhood Education – Basic Student?

How Am I Going to Manage This?


  • Mon-Fri: 8 am – 4:30 pm

    Virtual Stretch Hours
    Mon-Tue: 4:30 pm – 6pm