Early Childhood Education (ECE)

You enjoy lighting the spark of knowledge in children, and watching them grow emotionally and intellectually. Early Childhood Education involves facilitating activities that stimulate a child's interests and promote independence, build self-esteem, and create a foundation for lifelong learning. If you're considering this pathway, helping young children develop is your passion.

Mid’s Early Childhood Education Pathways allow you to develop required skills through hands-on learning. You’ll gain valuable knowledge during 200+ hours of field experience in early education settings both on and off campus. Interested in an advanced degree? Many of Mid’s ECE courses transfer seamlessly into bachelor degree programs.

Industry-Recognized Certifications from respected companies and organizations, like the American Heart Association and others, increases your employment potential by clearly demonstrating to employers the skills you have mastered. Learn more about these skill certifications below.


Training Credential

Mid's Early Childhood Education Training Credential Pathway allows you to develop targeted ECE skills, and the credential can be completed in just two semesters so you can enter the workforce FAST. Plus, after you've earned your ECE Training Credential, you can ladder those credits into our Associate Degree Pathway - saving you time and money as you continue your education.

Career-Ready Associate Degree

Mid's Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Pathway allows you to develop required skills through hands-on learning, as you gain a broad knowledge of general education topics and skills. You'll gain 200+ hours of real-world work experience in early education settings both on and off campus. Plus, many of Mid's ECE courses transfer into bachelor degree programs at four-year colleges and universities.

Transfer-Focused Associate Degree

Mid’s Early Childhood Development Transfer Pathway is 100% online and prepares you to succeed in the pursuit of an advanced degree. This pathway is built to transfer directly into Central Michigan University’s Early Childhood Development & Learning Program in the Birth to Kindergarten band, which is 100% online, and in the Pre-K to Grade Three band, which requires online and face-to-face courses. CMU's program allows you to teach in non-elementary school settings such as child care centers, head start programs, preschools, etc.

Industry-Recognized Certifications

You may be wondering how employers will know what skills you've mastered by completing your degree at Mid. To highlight these skills, Mid has partnered with a variety of organizations to award industry-recognized skill certifications. Industry-recognized certifications provide a return on your education investment through hands-on training in real-world work environments. These certifications are earned in addition to your Mid credential and increase your employment potential.

ECE Industry-Recognized Certifications

    • Mid's ECE Program allows you to satisfy two State of Michigan Child Care Licensing Qualifications.
      • Infant-Toddler Lead Teacher is earned in Mid's ECE 112 course.
      • Program Administration is earned in Mid's ECE 208 course.

Why Choose Mid?

Faculty with a passion for ECE

Our instructors are employed full-time in the field of early childhood education as center directors, program coordinators, and teachers. That means you learn from more than text books—you learn from the first-hand experiences of caring faculty who have real-world knowledge and connections.

Hands-on Experiences

When completing Mid's Associate in ECE, you complete over 200 hours in our Mock Classroom and your internship location. You are thoughtfully matched with a preschool or daycare center to practice your skills in a real-world environment with real children. If you are currently employed in a licensed center you may be eligible to receive lab credit at your current job.

Industry Alignment

Mid’s curriculum aligns with the professional standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the foremost professional association for early childhood education.

Flexible Scheduling

You may already work in early childhood education, but want to enhance your skills and credentials. To accommodate your busy schedule, Mid's ECE courses are offered in the evenings.

Transfer Opportunities

ECE courses transfer to most child development programs at four year colleges and universities. If you hope to pursue a bachelor degree with a major in child development, transfer guides are available for Ferris State and Central Michigan Universities’. By spending two years at Mid, you can transfer credits to colleges and universities across the State and Country. Plus, on average, you'll save $15,500 on your bachelor degree by starting at Mid.*

* Source: IPEDS Fall 2018, Institutional Characteristics. Savings compare the median 2018-2019 tuition and required fees for an academic year at public Michigan universities with Mid Michigan College, calculated for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates. The tuition and required fees shown here are the lowest reported from the categories of in-district, in-state, and out-of-state. Visit each college or university website for current tuition information.

Career Outlook

ECE Professionals Matter

Our early childhood experiences influence our personalities and behavior for the rest of our lives, which makes the field of early childhood education one of the most powerful careers for people who want to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of others. ECE professionals learn how children learn and develop, not just cognitively, but physically, socially, and emotionally as well. Some specialize in working with children who have physical or developmental disabilities or those with behavioral concerns.

These professionals design fun and educational games and activities that are appropriate to varying ages, needs, and skills. ECEs need to be creative and resourceful in planning activities, establishing routines, and providing appropriate behavioral correction and guidance.

Good educators build relationships with the parents of the children in their care. So, ECEs must also possess the communication skills necessary for fostering relationships with other adults and caregivers.

Pre-School Teacher

  • Median Pay $14.67/hour | $30,520/year | 7% Growth

Daycare Director

  • Median Pay $23.18/hour | $48,210/year | 7% Growth

Teacher Assistant

  • Median Pay $13.42/hour | $27.920/year | 4% Growth

Data sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and valid 2018 through 2028.

Research Careers

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development, HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

Research Early Childhood Education-related careers

Amanda O'Day

You can achieve your goals!

I am a mother of three energetic children and wife to a supportive husband. I began my adult life working full-time as the manager of the toy department at Walmart. After having my second child, I realized retail was not the career path I wanted to pursue.

At that point, my husband and I decided it was time for me to stay home and care for our children. While it was the best decision we could have made for our family, it was not always easy. There were many ups and downs, but the time spent with my girls made every challenge worthwhile. After introducing our son into this world, my life changed; nothing was ever going to be the same again. Shortly after his birth, he was diagnosed with a lifelong health disorder that required intense monthly treatments.

As our family grew and we managed my son’s health demands, life began to make sense again. His treatments were allowing him to grow and develop as normally as he could. When the time came for him to start school, I was terrified; I needed to be close to him. I took the opportunity to sub as a paraprofessional and assistant teacher in the elementary and preschool classrooms. I fell in love with the children and watching them grow and develop throughout the year.

Mid allowed me to continue my passion for working with children while pursuing an Early Childhood Education credential. The course times and online learning opportunities were easily juggled around being a mom and sub in the classroom. Throughout my time at Mid, I had the honor of working with great staff and a well-organized program. The instructors made my courses exciting and joyful in a relaxed learning environment. Every semester was engaging and a valuable learning opportunity that helped me develop the skills needed to be successful.

Before I knew it, I had finished the program and earned my silver cords for my academic success. I now hang those cords above my computer to remind me anything is possible. I have conquered an education I thought impossible with the highest of honors, and am continuing my passion for educating the youth of our Nation as a bachelor degree student. While I have a bit of my college education to finish, I have already set new goals to conquer. In addition to teaching young children, I hope one day to teach college students the skills needed to achieve their goals as I have. Success is possible and Mid has brightened my future and opportunities, on my path to success.

TEACH Scholarship Pays Off!

The TEACH Scholarship has been a wonderful scholarship program for me. As a licensed child care provider I wanted to further my knowledge and understanding of young children, as well as earn the credentials needed to be a childcare director of a licensed center and thanks to TEACH I was able to fulfill that goal. The scholarship paid for a large portion of my tuition and books, as well as stipends for paying my staff while I was away at class. I would highly encourage anyone working for a licensed program to apply. As a result of TEACH and my PELL grant I actually “make money” going to school. There’s really no reason not to apply! Every little bit helps!!

- Connie Marshall

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