Early Childhood Education Courses in AZ with School Overviews

Jul 30, 2019

There are about 26 schools in Arizona that offer early childhood education programs. Read an overview of ten of these programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

The schools discussed below offer associate, bachelor's and master's degrees for those interested in early childhood education courses. Certificate programs are also available for current teaching professionals interested in focusing on an early childhood specialization. Prerequisites vary by program, some are for teaching professionals, and some programs are geared towards those with little experience in education seeking future transfer to a 4-year program.

Academic preparation is only part of the qualification for a certified early childhood education teacher, many training courses and degree programs include teaching practice or exam preparation, and some course offerings are available online.


Arizona State University

Located in Tempe, Arizona State University enrolls about 72,000 students. The university offers a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education program on three of its campuses. This program requires approximately 120 credits of study in courses such as instructional methods for young children and children's literature. The program also includes student teaching experiences.

The university also offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education program that prepares graduates for endorsement and certification in the field. The curriculum of this 30-credit-hour program includes coursework and an applied project class.

Chandler/Gilbert Community College

This community college is located in Chandler and enrolls about 14,000 students. It offers a Child Development Associate Credential program and an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Early Learning and Development program. The A.A.S. program requires four semesters of study.

Glendale Community College

This community college, which is situated in Glendale, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Administration and Management. This program requires a minimum of 63 credits of study in classes such as the foundations of early childhood education and human development. The program's curriculum also includes an internship and requires that students create a portfolio prior to graduation.

Mesa Community College

Located in Mesa, this school enrolls about 26,000 students. It offers a 30-credit-hour Certificate of Completion in Early Care Specialist program designed for professionals currently working in the field. Students in this program complete two internships, one focusing on infants and toddlers and the other focusing on preschool-age children. The college also offers an Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development that requires 64 credits of study. Coursework in this program covers topics like management and the environment, guidance, atypical behaviors of young children and the foundations of early childhood education.

Students may also earn an Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Administration and Management. This program requires a minimum of 63 credits of study. Its curriculum includes an internship and a portfolio requirement. The Associate in Arts in Elementary Education program also requires at least 63 credits of study and is designed for individuals intending to transfer to an early childhood education program at a 4-year school.

Northern Arizona University

This university is located in Flagstaff and offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education program that requires at least 37 credits of study. Students in this program create and complete an individualized plan of study.

A Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education is a 120-credit-hour program available online and in blended formats at four locations and is designed for individuals who have an associate's degree. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as classroom management in early childhood education, early childhood development and elementary psychology in elementary and middle school education. The university also offers a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This program requires completion of at least 36 credit hours of study and is designed for working teachers.

Paradise Valley Community College

Situated in Phoenix, this school offers a Certificate of Completion and an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. The certificate program requires 36 credits of study, while the associate's degree program requires approximately 64 credits of study. In addition to coursework, students in these programs complete internships.

Phoenix College

Located in Phoenix, this school enrolls about 12,000 students. It offers a 9-credit-hour Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Classroom Management program. Coursework in this program focuses on subjects like working with the hyperactive child and arranging the environment. The college also offers a 6-credit-hour Certificate of Completion in Curriculum for Young Children program. This program includes classes focusing on topics such as art activities for the young child and multicultural early childhood education. A Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Education and Administration program is a 33-credit-hour program designed for individuals currently working in the field of early childhood education or those interested in entering the field.

The college also offers an Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Administration program that requires 64 credits of study. Classes in this program cover topics like child development and curriculum planning for diversity.

Pima Community College

This community college, which is located in Tucson, enrolls about 37,000 students. It offers certificate programs in basic early childhood studies and advanced early childhood studies. Both the basic and advanced early childhood studies programs prepare graduates to apply for the Child Development Associate Credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition.

The school also offers an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education that is designed to prepare students to transfer to a 4-year school. To that end, the school has established a transfer agreement with the University of Arizona. Classes in the associate's degree program cover topics such as assessment of young children and mathematics for elementary teachers.

An Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Studies program prepares graduates for employment in the field. Students in this program must complete at least 60 credits of study. Students with a degree may complete the school's post-degree certificate program in early childhood, birth through age eight. This program requires 37 credits of study in classes such as music and art for children and child growth and development.

Rio Salado College

This college is located in Tempe and enrolls about 25,000 students. It offers a Certificate of Completion in Infant and Toddler Development program that requires 16 credits of study. In addition to coursework, students in this program complete an internship. Students may also earn a Certificate of Completion in Family Child Care Management. This 16-credit-hour program includes coursework in topics like family child care curriculum and environments and the developing child from prenatal through age eight.

The school's Certificate of Completion in Child and Family Organizations Management and Administration program requires 19 credits of study. Students in this program complete classes in topics like project management and community leadership in child and family organizations. They also complete an internship and create a portfolio. An Academic Certificate in Child and Family Professional Development program is available to individuals currently working in the field of early childhood. Students in this 16-credit-hour program complete a block of study focusing on family child care, infant/toddler, preschool or school-age children.

The school also offers an Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development program that prepares graduates to work as early childhood professionals. Required courses in this program cover topics like play and the arts and introduction to the exceptional young child. Students in this program also complete an internship. The curriculum of the school's Associate in Applied Sciences in Early Childhood Administration and Management program integrates instruction about teaching children and managing early childhood education programs. Students in this program complete at least 63 credits of study, which includes an internship.

Scottsdale Community College

Located in Scottsdale, this college enrolls about 11,000 students. The school's Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development program is designed for individuals seeking to enter the field and for those already working in the field who want to upgrade their skills. The curriculum of this approximately 63-credit-hour program, which is offered in conjunction with Rio Salado Community College, requires that students compete a block of elective courses focusing on infant and toddler development, family child care management or early childhood business management.

Career Information

To obtain professional certification, early childhood education students must complete educational requirements and a teaching practicum. Those who have earned a bachelor's degree in this field, or who have prior certification in another state can also qualify to take the certification exam administered by the Arizona Department of Education. Passing this exam allows for provisional certification, which will increase to standard certification after 2 years of qualifying work experience or board certification.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Early Childhood Education Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Arizona State University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Education in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
$10,822 for in-state and $28,336 for out-of-state students*
Chandler/Gilbert Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Child Development Associate Credential,
Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development
$2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Glendale Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Administration and Management $2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Mesa Community College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Completion in Early Care Specialist,
Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development,
Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Administration and Management,
Associate in Arts in Elementary Education
$2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Northern Arizona University 4-year, public; small city Undergraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education,
Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education,
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
$11,564 for in-state and $25,828 for out-of-state students*
Paradise Valley Community College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Education,
Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
$2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Phoenix College 2-year, public; large city Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Classroom Management,
Certificate of Completion in Curriculum for Young Children,
Certificate of Completion in Early Childhood Education and Administration,
Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
$2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Pima Community College 2-year, public; large city Certificate in Basic Early Childhood Studies,
Certificate in Advanced Early Childhood Studies,
Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education,
Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Studies,
Post-Degree Certificate in Early Childhood, Birth-Age Eight
$2,142 for in-state and $7,458 for out-of-state students*
Rio Salado College 2-year, public; rural fringe Certificate of Completion in Infant and Toddler Development,
Certificate of Completion in Family Child Care Management,
Certificate of Completion in Child and Family Organizations Management and Administration,
Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development,
Associate in Applied Sciences in Early Childhood Administration and Management
$2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*
Scottsdale Community College 2-year, public; rural fringe Associate in Applied Science in Early Learning and Development $2,070 for in-state and $7,854 for out-of-state students*

Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?