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Early Childhood Education Programs

Further Your Career with an Early Childhood Certificate or Degree


The School of Education at Montgomery College provides a wide range of coursework, certifications, and degree options in the field of early childhood education.

In order to enroll in any of these programs, you must apply for admission to Montgomery College. You may also have to complete assessment testing before gaining approval to register. For costs, see the College's current tuition rates

Approved College Courses for the Child Development Associate (CDA), 90 Hour, and 45 Hour

We offer the courses needed for childcare center teachers to complete the 90 Hour training required by the State of Maryland, Office of Child Care. Montgomery College also offers courses for the 45 Hour in either infant/toddler development or school-aged child care. All of these college credit courses may be applied towards the 120 clock hours required for the Child Development Associate (CDA)new window national credential. Courses may be available fully online. 

Early Childhood Education Certificate (One Year Certificate)

Did You Earn Credits in High School?
If you participated in the Child Development programs in a Montgomery County Public Schools high school, you may be eligible to enter the early childhood certificate and/or degree program with up to nine college credits (the equivalent of three courses). See Articulated College Credit for Education Programs (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) for more information. 

The Early Childhood Education Certificate program is designed to prepare students to work in a variety of childcare settings with children from infancy through age eight. The curriculum consists of ten courses: a core of seven courses directly related to early childhood education, plus three foundation courses in psychology and communications.

It is also called the One Year Certificate because the curriculum is designed to be completed within two semesters. Students who have completed the required courses for the 90 Hours and 45 Hours may apply their course credit toward the certificate. Students may also apply credits earned for the certificate toward an associate's degree in early childhood education.

Associate's Degrees in Early Childhood Education

Montgomery College offers two associate's degrees in early childhood education:

  • Early Childhood Education Technology AAS Degree: This degree program, available fully online, prepares students to work with children from infancy through age eight in a variety of early childhood settings. The curriculum totals 60 credit hours, with a core of 34 credit hours directly related to early childhood education. The program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)new window as meeting degree requirements for childcare center directors and teachers. This degree transfers to only a limited number of private universities. 
  • Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education AAT Degree: This degree program prepares students to transfer to an early childhood education or special education program at a four-year college or university in the state of Maryland. The program enables students to fulfill their general education requirements and complete a core of professional education coursework required for the first two years of teacher preparation. 

If you work in a licensed child care or preschool and are taking classes toward the early childhood AAS or AAT degree program, you may be eligible for a state fund to pay for your tuition, fees, and books. Learn more about the Maryland State Department of Education Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund (CCCPDF)

Planning to teach first grade or higher? We also offer several degree programs in elementary and secondary education, intended to serve as the first two years of a four-year degree. See details on all of our teacher education transfer degree programs

Noncredit Programs

Montgomery College's Workforce Development and Continuing Education division also offers a variety of informational, innovative, and inspiring courses to help early childhood educators foster their love of learning and improve their instructional skills. Courses are offered in both English and Spanish. For more information, see the early childhood education noncredit course schedule.