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Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom Certificate

Young children learn by playing, solving problems and exploring. Teaching children birth through age 8 and younger requires a unique skill set, knowledge base and approach. Earning a Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate from the University of Central Missouri prepares you to create developmentally appropriate learning environments and curricula to support early learning. Using your own classroom as a practicum experience, you’ll complete this certificate with engaging experiences that enhance your teaching and career goals.

Whether you’re a current assistant or lead teacher in an early learning setting, an Elementary Education major or earning your bachelor’s degree in another area, you can build your early childhood education skills to become a more effective teacher.

Apply credits from your undergraduate certificate toward a bachelor’s degree

If you’re already teaching in a classroom, committing to a degree program can be challenging. Our Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate is one of three UCM Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs that allow you to earn an additional credential and apply earned credits toward our ECE Bachelor of Science in Education. Other certificates include Understanding the Child and Program and Community Partnerships in Early Childhood Education. Earn one — or all three.

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Aligned to NAEYC Standards 4 and 5

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ECE program accredited by CAEP

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#34 in the U.S. for non-trad students

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1 of 3 UCM early childhood certificates

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Gain real-world experience in your own classroom

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Top 6% Most Popular Colleges in Ed

What you will study

UCM’s Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate gives you the knowledge you need to effectively teach young children aged birth through 8 years. You’ll gain a better understanding of the types of curricula and assessments that engage young students and help them grow and learn more effectively. 

Some of the classes you may take include: 

  • Acquisition of Language and Literacy
  • Classroom Management and Interactions
  • Early Childhood Practicum

Through these and other classes, you’ll deepen your understanding and teaching practices for creating positive learning environments as well as apply teaching strategies in your classroom to help all children build strong language and literacy skills.

All courses for the Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom undergraduate certificate are taught in Lee’s Summit at our Missouri Innovation Campus, just 30 minutes from Kansas City.


Excellence in Early Childhood Education

  • Top 15%: Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Elementary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value College for Elementary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Focused Bachelor’s Degree College for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Elementary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 5.5%: Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Colleges for Education for Non-Traditional Students (College Factual, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in early childhood education teaching

As part of your UCM Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate, you’ll have ample opportunities to put what you learn into practice for valuable experience teaching young children and learning from other teachers in the field:

  • Use your own classroom as a lab: Complete experiential learning as practicum experiences to apply learning in your own classroom. Practice the teaching strategies, evaluations and assessments you've learned with young children. 
  • Connect your own experiences: Connect your learning to instruction and teaching practices. Apply what you’ve learned to design curriculum and assessment programs in your own early childhood classroom.
  • Build relationships within a cohort: Network with other teachers in the field in a cohort model. Learning as a group can be particularly valuable if you’re looking to switch jobs or get a deeper perspective on what early childhood teaching is like from others’ shared experiences.


What can you do with a Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate from UCM?

This undergraduate certificate shows employers that you can effectively engage young children, develop positive classroom experiences and evaluate early learning. Whether you’re already teaching in a classroom or aspire to earn your bachelor’s degree, this ECE certificate is a valuable tool to help you advance your career — or prepare you for a new one. The skills you learn prepare you to work in a variety of settings. These include:

  • Elementary school classrooms, grades K–3 (*must be certified)
  • Preschool classrooms
  • Child care centers
  • Youth facilities

Learn more about jobs in early childhood education

Use the tool below to learn about the job outlook and types of career paths in the early childhood education teaching field.




Financial assistance options for your Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate

At the University of Central Missouri, we believe higher education should be within reach for all students. For those earning a certificate along with a UCM degree, in addition to university scholarships, we offer loans, grants and other options to help you affordably finance your college education. Beyond our general scholarship opportunities, UCM offers several scholarships specifically for Early Childhood Education undergraduates, including:

  • Merle C. and Maxine Rider Scholarship in Early Childhood Education
  • Merle C. and Lillian J. Rider Scholarship in Early Childhood Education
  • Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education Scholarship

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Apply credits from your Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom certificate towards one of UCM’s related bachelor’s degrees:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Broaden your instructional knowledge to include children aged birth to 8 years while you complete your bachelor’s degree. If you’re already working towards your bachelor’s degree, you might be interested in completing one of the following minors:

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Explore programs related to teaching in the early childhood classroom.

You can “stack” your Early Childhood Education certificates to progressively build up your knowledge while earning credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Consider completing these two related certificates offered at UCM:


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