Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Parkland is introducing a new Associates in Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education. This degree will help students prepare to work in a childcare center or home-based childcare program, and transfer to a 4-year Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and receive Illinois licensure to teach PreK -2nd grade.

In August, Governor Prtizker signed a bill that invests $200 million to strengthen the Early Childhood Workforce. Nearly $120 million is directed toward financial support – scholarships to encourage childcare workers to pursue advanced credentials. If you are currently working, or have worked in childcare, and you’re seeking to advance your credentials, you can apply for scholarships that may cover all of your costs.

I help people who are currently working with, or want to work with young children learn about how children’s brains and physical skills develop. I teach them how to work most effectively with young children, how to promote social-emotional skills, how to encourage language development, and how to prevent and deal with challenging behavior.

The Parkland ECE AAS will help current teachers level up their credentials, and encourage new students to explore the field. Our hope is to help solve the severe shortage of qualified early childhood professionals in Illinois.

The Parkland ECE AAS is built for working people. Our classes are all either totally online or in hybrid format. The hybrid courses meet one evening a week. Many of our courses are 8 weeks, so you can double the number of courses you can take in a semester.

Our faculty are professionals who have worked in the field of early childhood education, so we provide practical skills and knowledge. Our classes often have guest speakers, field trips and other hands-on experiences. And our program includes two practicum experiences, where students are in classrooms observing and ultimately planning and teaching.

Online information session on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:00 pm for center directors, and people who are currently working in childcare.

Online information session on Tuesday, May 17 at 6:00 pm for students considering studying Early Childhood Education.

Registration is currently happening at Parkland, and our academic advising staff is happy to help you – or direct you to more information. You can contact admissions at 217/351-2482 or at

Parkland College
Early Childhood Education Program
2400 West Bradley Avenue