Learn about educating the whole child and how to best support young children’s growth with an Understanding the Child in Early Childhood Education certificate from the University of Central Missouri. One of UCM’s pathways to early childhood education teacher preparation, this undergraduate certificate includes state-approved coursework that will set you on your way to building career-focused credentials. It also gives practicing teachers the opportunity to strengthen their skills and deepen their understanding of early learning.
If you’re just starting a career in early childhood education, you can slowly build on your knowledge by earning this undergraduate certificate instead of, or in addition to, a bachelor’s degree.
Earn course credit and valuable credentials before committing to a UCM degree
Designed to provide flexibility for working teachers, UCM’s Understanding the Child in Early Childhood Education certificate is one of three UCM early childhood education certificates you can earn before or while enrolled in a degree-seeking or alternative certification program. The credits you earn in Understanding the Child and in our other two certificate programs — Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom and Programs and Community Partnerships in Early Childhood Education — can be applied toward a BSE in Early Childhood Education at UCM.
Aligned to NAEYC standards
Longest CAEP-accredited program in MO
95% job placement rate
#1 in MO for nontraditional students
Earn in as quickly as one year
Apply your credits toward a BSE degree
Understanding the Child focuses on children’s brain development and what influences and enhances a child’s ability to learn. You’ll learn research-based strategies that you can use to support young children in your own classroom. Designed for both seasoned early childhood education teachers and those looking to enter the ECE field, this undergraduate certificate focuses on providing developmentally appropriate instruction for children up to age 8.
As part of the Understanding the Child Early Childhood Education certificate, you’ll take courses such as:
Throughout UCM’s Understanding the Child in Early Childhood Education certificate program, you’ll work with faculty, peers and educators in your school to explore new learning strategies and put your knowledge to work. Draw upon your own classroom experiences to make connections between your learning and your teaching practice:
UCM’s Understanding the Child in Early Education certificate can open the door to a number of careers. Whether you’re ready to advance your career, start a new job or prepare for becoming a certified early childhood teacher or your next degree, this certificate will demonstrate your knowledge to future employers.
The skills you’ll acquire at UCM prepare you for success in settings such as:
Careers in early childhood education
Use the tool below to explore career paths, salary expectations, job openings, projected job growth and more in the early childhood education field.
Learn more, spend less. At the University of Central Missouri, we make earning an undergraduate certificate affordable. In addition to university scholarships, grants and loans, partnerships with community organizations may help offset student tuition costs for qualifying working teachers enrolled in our Understanding the Child Early Childhood Education certificate program.
Beyond UCM’s university-wide funding options, the College of Education offers numerous scholarships reserved for undergraduate students in our Early Childhood Education program, including:
Learn more about program-specific scholarships using the UCM Scholarship Finder.