Early Childhood Education

CWI Early Childhood Ed Vignette

What inspires me most is watching the students transform a learning activity into an exciting adventure for the children.
Bonnie Noonan, Program Chair

We provide preschool classes to the children of CWI students, employees and the community!

2017-2018 Academic Year Preschool Sessions

  • Tuesday & Thursday morning 9:15am-11:30am (Tuition $340 per year)
  • Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday afternoon 1:00pm-3:15pm (Tuition $510 per year)
  • Tuition discounts are available for CWI employees and students
  • Tuition installment plans are available
  • Children are enrolled for the entire academic year (two semesters) in the session
  • Children must be 3 years of age by September 1st

Preschool Information


Becoming an early childhood educator takes an equal amount of heart, knowledge, and skill. As a child care provider or preschool teacher, you have the responsibility for educating and nurturing young children from birth to age eight in a variety of early childhood settings. At the College of Western Idaho you will have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills right on campus in our own college Preschool Laboratory. Additional practical experience in community early childhood facilities expands career opportunities during college and after graduation.


The program curriculum covers a range of topics related to child development and teaching practice. Not only will you learn how to teach young children but you will also learn to how to create safe and healthy learning environments, effectively partner with parents in their child’s care, and develop professional policies to guide center and classroom procedures.

Why This Program

Students can start the program fall, spring or summer semester. Classes are offered during the day and evening as well as online. Students can take classes on a part-time or full-time schedule. This program involves classroom instruction as well as practical experience in our Preschool Laboratory or in early childhood facilities throughout the Treasure Valley. Students may use their own early childhood classroom to complete some practicums with children if the program meets certain requirements.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Understand the growth and developmental stages of young children
  • Develop and deliver age appropriate curriculum in literacy, math, science, social studies, art and music
  • Provide quality care and education for young children from birth to age eight
  • Set up and maintain a healthy, safe learning environment
  • Incorporate good nutrition into meals, snacks and food experiences
  • Guide and foster positive social and emotional development of children in groups
  • Partner with parents in their child's education
  • Learn to include children with diverse backgrounds as well as special needs into classrooms
  • Supervise and administer all aspects of an early childhood program
  • Become a professional and advocate for young children and their families

Additional Opportunities

Child Development Associate (CDA) credential

Child Development AssociateThe Early Childhood Education program provides the courses to meet the educational component of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential of the Council for Professional Recognition. The program provides courses on a regular basis to meet the requirements for the Preschool, Infant/Toddler, and Family Child Care CDA. The program will upon special request provide the coursework for the Home Visitor CDA.

These courses meet the CDA 120 hours of the education:

  • ECED 100 Foundations of Early Childhood Education, 3 credits
  • ECED 101 Child Development and Guidance, 3 credits
  • ECED 105 Teaching Young Children I, 4 credits

Supervision and support to complete the Professional Portfolio and Family Questionnaires is provided by a faculty advisor. Students who are awarded a CDA with college coursework for the educational component and decide to continue in the Early Childhood Education program may be eligible to challenge ECED 106 Teaching Young Children II.

If you are interested in learning more about the CDA coursework at CWI, contact Program Chair, Bonnie Noonan, [email protected] or 208.562.3108. Please do not contact the One Stop about the CDA because it is not a CWI degree but a national credential from the Council for Professional Recognition.

To learn more about the types of CDA credentials and steps to achieving the credential, visit www.cdacouncil.org.

Gainful Employment

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at cwidaho.cc/ge

Respectful Community

The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

Requirements and Costs

Degrees and Certificates

Early Childhood Education, Associates of Applied Science



Delivery Formats:

Early Childhood Education, Advanced Technical Certificate



Delivery Formats:

Early Childhood Education, Intermediate Technical Certificate



Delivery Formats:

Early Childhood Education, Basic Technical Certificate



Delivery Formats:

Important Dates for Credit Programs

  Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Fall 2017
Registration Open November 14 April 10 April 10
Financial Aid Priority Date December 5 May 15 July 10
Admission Deadline December 30 May 19 August 4
Last Day to Register January 13 June 2 August 18
Tuition and Fees Due January 13 June 2 August 18
Classes Begin January 17* June 5* August 21
*Some classes begin before or after this date. See the class schedule for more information.

Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes

  • A desire to serve others
  • Enjoyment and appreciation of young children
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other adults
  • Patience, energy and enthusiasm
  • Creativity and flexibility
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Desire to learn and reflect on own personal growth


Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI One Stop Student Services offers advising assistance, to help in deciding which courses you need to take to complete your educational goals. Visit Advising for more information or contact One Stop Student Services to schedule an appointment.

Prospective and new Early Childhood Education majors should contact Program Chair, Bonnie Noonan, [email protected] or 208.562.3108, to schedule a meeting. At the meeting students will learn about the program requirements, discuss career goals, transfer opportunities, and begin the advising process. ECED 100, Foundations of Early Childhood Education, and Practicum courses require instructor permission for registration and an initial meeting with the Program Chair.

Additional requirements upon enrollment include:

  • Proof of Criminal History Background check with fingerprinting
  • Current Pediatric CPR and First Aid training certificate
  • Proof of negative Tuberculosis test
  • High school graduate or hold a GED

The Program Chair will provide information to assist students in meeting the requirements.

Financial Aid Available

Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.

Career Info

Graduates work in child care centers, preschools, and Head Start programs as both assistant and lead teachers. Additionally, graduates begin their own business by starting family child care homes or child care centers and preschools. Career opportunities outside of teaching include becoming family educators and advocates, child life assistants, public school assistant teachers, and developmental techs in developmental disabilities agencies.

Work environments are busy and high energy with an emphasis on interaction between children and adults. The personal fulfillment of helping young children and their families is a tremendous benefit to professionals in this field.


  • Child Care Center Teacher or Director
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Head Start Program Assistant or Lead Teacher
  • Family Child Care Owner


Nampa Campus Multipurpose Building

6042 Birch Lane, Nampa, ID 83687