Early Childhood Education | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

Main Content Start

Early Childhood Education


Develop the skills necessary to effectively empower, engage and educate young learners in a variety of settings by pursuing an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education.

As you progress through the two-year program, you'll learn about the social, emotional, physical, cognitive, communicative and creative development of young children from birth to eight years of age.

Employment opportunities include pre-k and preschool teachers and assistant teachers, as well as paraprofessional and administrators at childcare centers. 

Academic Paths & Resources

NWACC offers a certificate of proficiency, a technical certificate and an AAS in early childhood education. View the courses required to earn a certificate or degree, and see a number of student resources.

View the courses required to earn a Certificate of Proficiency in Child Development Associate (CDA).

For the certificate of proficiency in Child Development Associate (CDA), you must be employed in an approved early childhood program and working at least 30 hours per week with children of the appropriate age for CDA credential sought.

View the courses required to earn an Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education.

View the following courses required to earn an AAS Early Childhood Education.

Although there is not a specific order for courses, it is highly recommended that you contact the early childhood education program coordinator for advising each semester to ensure that you are progressing toward obtaining the desired certificate or degree and know the most current information about transfer options. Email askbehsci@nwacc.edu with questions.

The Associate of Applied Science degree is designed for employment purposes. While many institutions accept courses in AAS programs, not all courses in the degree may transfer to other institutions. If you'd like to transfer, contact the institution to which you wish to transfer for additional information.  NWACC currently has a transfer partnership with Central Methodist University allowing AAS students seamless entry into CMU’s online Bachelor of Science Child Development program. 

  • Discover Early Childhood: A great resource for students who want to explore continuing their education in the field of early childhood.

  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children: The largest non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of young children and their families. View valuable resources for early childhood professionals and parents on their website. 

  • Arkansas Early Childhood Association: A local organization whose commitment is to increase the quality of early care and education throughout our community. Find out what our state Early Childhood Association is doing!  And this is the time to become a member!

  • Northwest Arkansas Head Start: The local affiliate of the state-wide Early Childhood Association. Get involved locally!

  • Teachstone: The home of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, but it is much more than that. They have great resources for early childhood students and professionals.
  • Zero to Three: This organization works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development.