Certificate of Completion in Early Care Specialist

Early Care Specialist
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Field of Interest

Field of Interest: Education


The base certificate for this pathway map is no longer offered for new students. It is presented only for archival purposes.

The Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Early Care Specialist program prepares students for entry level position in early childhood programs. The sequence of coursework is designed to increase understanding of education and care of young children.


Details icon Important information you’ll need when applying for admission:

Field of Interest
Academic Plan
Early Care Specialist (CER)
Academic Plan Code
Total Credits Required
Catalog Year
Program Notes

Students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all courses within the program.

This program will be replaced by:
CCL/5054 Foundations of Early Childhood Education
CCL/5056 Early Childhood Education

What You’ll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Plan and initiate classroom experiences related to the child's cultural background.
  2. Evaluate classical and modern literature for young children utilizing literary criteria.
  3. Describe, plan for, and prepare snacks or meals for the nutritional needs of the young child.
  4. Describe the physical, social, language, and cognitive developmental stages from prenatal through adolescence.
  5. Identify the steps in the decision making process and the effect of values, standards, goals, and resources on the process.
  6. Identify the application of psychological principles to the development and guidance of young children.
  7. Describe and use techniques which encourage young children to get along with others and feel positive about themselves as individuals.
  8. Design flexible room arrangements suitable for a variety of individual and group activities.
  9. Describe professional ethics concerning the rights of children, their families, and fellow staff members.
  10. Identify major areas of current state rules and regulations which pertain to child care.
  11. Evaluate appropriate health and safety standards and practices in child care.
  12. Describe means of communicating with parents which facilitate participation in activities and sharing of goals of their young children.
  13. Supervise a group of young children during transition time, free play, and whole group activities in accordance with program policy and philosophy.
  14. Plan activities and experiences which encourage thinking and problem solving skills appropriate for young children.
  15. Organize, maintain, and supervise a balanced schedule of indoor and outdoor activities which will provide activities in a safe and healthy learning environment.
  16. Collaborate with other staff members to create a positive learning environment which encourages orderly routine and respect for others.
  17. Plan creative learning activities for young children in each of the curriculum areas: music, art, science, language, and math.
  18. Describe the foundations of portfolio development.
  19. Construct and present a portfolio.
  20. Demonstrate the ability to use computer software programs and write professional documents with a demonstrated a purpose, logical organization, and inclusion of pertinent information for appropriate audiences.
  21. Explain the importance of play, creativity and the arts in contemporary early childhood programs, and how they support early learning.
  22. Describe how young children develop language, literacy and writing skills and how adults support literacy development.

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of this certificate may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Maricopa County-based annual median wages* for this certificate. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information. You can click on any occupation to view the detail regarding education level, wages, and employment information.

* Career and wage information provided by Emsi using data, reports, and forecasts which are generated using government data sources and Emsi’s proprietary analytical processes. Emsi’s data covers multiple classes of workers including QCEW, non-QCEW, and those who are self-employed. Disclaimer

Admission Criteria


Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your Student Center to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include AAA/CPD150, AAA/CPD150AC, CPD104, and AAA115/CPD115. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
CFS176 or
Child Development or The Developing Child: Prenatal to Age Eight RC 3
EED200 Foundations of Early Childhood Education Course offered in Fall only RC 3
EED212 Guidance, Management and the Environment Course offered in Fall only RC 3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
ECH128 Early Learning: Play And The Arts Course offered in Spring only RC 3
EED220 or
EED222 or
Child, Family, Community and Culture or Introduction to the Exceptional Young Child: Birth to Age Eight or Early Learning: Language Acquisition and Literacy Development EED220 offered in Spring only. EED245 offered in Fall only RC 3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
EED215 Early Learning: Health, Safety, Nutrition and Fitness RC 3
EED260 Early Childhood Infant/Toddler Internship RC 1
EED278 Early Learning: Curriculum And Instruction - Birth/Preschool Course offered in Fall only RC 3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
EED255 Portfolio Development and Writing for the Profession RC 3
EED261 Early Childhood Preschool Internship RC 1
CFS+++ or
ECH+++ or
Electives: Any course from these prefixes except courses used to satisfy above Required Courses RE 3

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General Help

Ask general questions over the phone at 480-461-7400 or via online chat.

Course Area Key


Students must earn a grade of "C" or better for all courses required within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an academic advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

View MCCCD’s curriculum website for the Certificate of Completion in Early Care Specialist (http://aztransmac2.asu.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MCCCD.woa/wa/freeForm?id=125868).

Other Versions

The pathway map presented above is for the current catalog year and is the intended pathway map for new students. Other versions of this pathway map from different catalog years are available below:

A list of the current and previous versions of the pathway map for the Early Care Specialist program
Catalog Year Effective Dates
2020-2021 (Current)    5/26/2020 – 5/24/2021
2019-2020 5/28/2019 – 5/25/2020
2018-2019 5/29/2018 – 5/27/2019