Early Childhood Studies Diploma

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Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus

Program Information

If you like working with children, Iowa Western’s Early Childhood Studies Diploma program could be for you. In this program, you learn how to care for infants, toddlers, and pre-school age children.

Graduates of this one-year program earn a diploma, and graduates can go on to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree by enrolling in the Early Childhood Studies program. All students receive supervised hands-on work experience in the lab school on the Council Bluffs campus and in community sites. The Children's Center is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.

Students who complete this diploma will have earned an Early Childhood: Child Development certificate by completion. Students who complete this diploma also will earn credit toward completion of the Early Childhood Studies AAS degree. 

Job Outlook

1,473 Jobs (2020)

+12.2% Change from 2020-2025

Data is from the Omaha Metropolitans Area, and the seven counties in Southwest Iowa that Iowa Western serves

What will you do

This program is designed for students intending to enter the workforce upon completion of this one-year diploma. Child care workers generally are classified into three different groups based on where they work: private household workers, who care for children at the children’s homes; family child care providers, who care for children in the providers’ homes; and child care workers who work at child care centers. Graduates of this program are prepared for entry-level jobs in all three areas, and they qualify for licensing as an assistant teacher at a child care facility. Students who wish to earn an advanced degree may continue on to complete the Early Childhood Studies program and earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.


  • Entry: $14.04
  • Average: $20.78
  • Experienced: $36.13

Career Examples

  • Teacher Assistants
  • Child Care Teachers
  • Lead Teachers
  • Early Childhood Special Education Teachers
  • Educators
  • Preschool Teachers
  • Toddler Teachers
  • Child Care Assistants

First Semester

ECE 244 - Early Childhood Guidance with Lab 4.0 Credit(s)
ECE 103 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3.0 Credit(s)
ECE 170 - Child Growth and Development 3.0 Credit(s)
ECE 153 - Early Childhood Curriculum I with Lab 4.0 Credit(s)
SPC 122 - Interpersonal Communication 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 17.0 Credits

Second Semester

ECE 120 - Communication with Families 2.0 Credit(s)
ECE 133 - Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition 3.0 Credit(s)
ECE 156 - Early Childhood Curriculum II with Lab 4.0 Credit(s)
ECE 221 - Infant/Toddler Care and Education 3.0 Credit(s)


ENG 110 - Writing For The Workplace 3.0 Credit(s)


ENG 105 - Composition I 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Total Semester Hours Required: 32.0


Students must maintain First Aid/CPR certification throughout the program.


Additional Information

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Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the early childhood profession.
  • Identify developmental characteristics of children.
  • Create a developmentally appropriate curriculum that advances all areas of children’s development and learning.
  • Demonstrate a safe, healthy learning environment.
  • Apply a variety of strategies to encourage children’s social, physical and emotional development.
  • Demonstrate positive and productive relationships with families, colleagues and other professionals.
  • Describe and demonstrate the development and learning of individual children, recognizing that children develop in a context of culture, language and ability diversity.

Program Disclaimers

  • Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database