More than ever, families need well trained professionals like you to care for and teach their children. Make a difference in the life of a child.
If you love working with children, this program prepares you for a career in early childhood and teaching in many different program formats, which also includes preparation for teaching in elementary schools, preschools, hospitals, or park districts. This program is also an excellent foundation for continuing your education to become an elementary school teacher.
What will my classes be like?
Discover the basic philosophies of early childhood education as well as child growth and development. Learn to maintain a safe and healthy environment. Develop curriculum and learning experiences that are both fun and instructional, then put them to the test in TCD's on-site laboratory preschool for 3 to 5 year olds.
Credentials and Scholarship Opportunity: Students in the program may prepare for two field credentials -- the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) and the new Level 1 Early Care & Education Credential.
TCD is the only DuPage high school early childhood program that offers students the Level 1 Early Care & Education (ECE) Credential through INCCRRA (Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies). After graduation from high school, the credentialed student qualifies for a scholarship to pursue an ECE associate's degree at a community college. This financial aid can continue for further post-secondary education -- see the information below, right.
The topics below are among the essential skills for this program. This is not a comprehensive list of all available skills and goals, but given to show the scope of the curriculum. Changes may occur year to year based on industry input, change in focus, or other factors. Please contact the program instructor or coordinator for additional information.
Age Appropriate Child Growth & Development
§ Introduction to the profession
§ Observing children
§ Child development principles and theories
§ Characteristics: Ages & Stages
Maintaining a Safe & Healthy Environment
§ Types of programs
§ Toys, equipment, educational materials
§ Promoting children’s safety
§ Nutrition: meals and snacks
§ Maintaining children’s health
Intellectual, Emotional, Social Development
§ Guidance skills
§ Communication with young children
§ Problem-solving, classroom limits
§ Role model
§ Daily routines
Learning Experiences for Children
§ Developing curriculum
§ Art, Block-Building, Sensory Experiences
§ Guiding/facilitating play experiences
§ Language/Literacy experiences
§ Math, Science, Social Studies experiences
§ Food/Nutrition experiences
Guiding Children with Special Needs
Child Care Careers
Preschool Classroom Observation
§ Career assessment
§ Résumé & Portfolio Development
§ Application, interview, job search
§ NCRC preparation & testing
More about the Level 1 ECE Credential:
The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program can pay up to 90% of college tuition and fees for students pursuing an education in Early Care Education.
The scholarship is awarded to students who earn the Level 1 Early Care & Education (ECE) Credential through INCCRRA (Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies). Normally offered to adults pursuing a Gateways Credential or degree in ECE, the program was opened three years ago to high school students whose school offers the Level 1 ECE Credential.
“This is a huge win-win,” said Jeanne Beauchamp, TCD instructor. “Not only can our students get this incredible aid, the program helps ensure that qualified, caring people will be the future caregivers and teachers for young children.”
After graduation from high school, the credentialed student uses the scholarship to attend a community college for an associate’s degree in ECE,or to earn 55 credit hours that then transfer toward an advanced degree at a participating 4-year college or university. The scholarship is renewable if the student continues in an ECE-related major for a bachelor’s (or even a master’s) degree, and meets other specified conditions.
Mark Obuchowski of INCCRRA recently spoke to TCD students and interested parents about the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program. Obuchowski pointed out that an interest in ECE does not always mean teaching; it can lead to other career pathways as diverse as research, curriculum development, developmental therapy, and child psychology.
The scholarship operates on a year by year contract basis, first at any Illinois community college (including College of DuPage), then at one of 20+ participating public and private colleges/universities. The first year contract begins within one year after graduation and does not include a commitment or requirement based on grades, income, or employment.
For each subsequent year-long contract, the student must also meet an employment requirement of at least 15 hours a week (full day, full year) at a DCFS-licensed child care facility. The scholarship amount is then based on a sliding scale in proportion to income.
The scholarship program is designed to help students fund their post-secondary education in ECE while gaining valuable experience in the field. The scholarship is not a competition; it is awarded to high school graduates with a Level 1 ECE Credential on a first come, first served basis as funds are available.
The Gateway Scholarship Program is administered by INCCRRA and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
For more information, contact Jeanne Beauchamp: 630-691-7605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.