Outcomes for children improve when early learning professionals have access to specialized learning opportunities. In Washington State, the professional development system helps early learning professionals choose a career pathway and access necessary support.
If you’re thinking about becoming an early learning professional or wondering how to build your skills in early childhood education, the Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal can help you:
- Learn about careers and career pathways in early childhood education.
- Find a Certificate, Associate, or Bachelor’s degree program.
- Get contact information to connect with the college’s Point of Contact to schedule an advising appointment with someone from the Early Childhood Education department.
- Learn about getting help to pay for college and how to apply.
Career pathways help you:
- Achieve your personal and professional goals
- Access available tools and supports
- Meet requirements for your role
Early Childhood Education certificates and degree programs provide foundational, comprehensive, and practical knowledge on the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of children from birth to age 8.
The Early Childhood Education Stackable Certificates build on one another and lead to an Associate degree in early childhood education and beyond. Community and technical colleges throughout the state offer Stackable Certificates.
For more information, review the Stackable Certificates publication.
Higher education degrees in early childhood education provide the comprehensive and practical knowledge and skills needed to support and educate young children. Colleges throughout the state offer degrees in early childhood education.
WAC 110-301 is currently under development. This section will be updated based on the staff qualifications for school-age providers to identify the certificates and degree programs that provide foundational, comprehensive, and practical knowledge on the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of children and youth from age 5 to 12.
Relationship-based professionals work in close partnership with learners to support their growth and development through an individualized learning process. Together, they go through the inquiry cycle by setting improvement goals, conducting observations, action planning, and reflection and feedback. This is an excellent pathway for those who enjoy working closely with others and helping them achieve improvements in their practice, skills, and outcomes.
- Learn more about the work of relationship-based professionals in the Relationship-Based Professional Development Standards.
- Advance your coaching skills by exploring the University of Washington’s Certificate in Practice-Based Coaching.