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Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Early Childhood Education

The Associate in Arts (AA), Emphasis in Early Childhood Education provides the first two years of a four-year curriculum in early childhood education. Students study child development, curriculum design and development, theory and practice in the education of young children, and the intersections of family, community, and childhood learning and development. Students who earn the AA, Early Childhood Education may work in early childhood settings and programs as early childhood educators and teacher assistants. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Education, students may work as teachers of children from birth to third grade. The AA, Early Childhood Education provides a pathway for students seeking Arizona Department of Education teacher certification.


Details iconImportant information you’ll need when applying for admission:
Field of Interest
Associate Degree
Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Early Childhood Education (DEG)
Total Credits Required
Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.
Effective term
Fall 2021

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each course in the program.

What You'll Learn
  • Evaluate developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate learning experiences that promote each child`s growth and development in the following domains: Social-Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Language and Literacy. (CFS/ECH176, CFS205, EDU221, EDU230, EDU/ENH291, EED200, [HU])
  • Identify the components necessary for a safe, caring, inclusive, and healthy learning environment according to best practices and local, state, and national standards. (CFS123, CFS125, EDU222, EDU230, EED215, EED222, [HU], [SG], [SQ])
  • Analyze children`s learning and development through observation and documentation, using standards and best practices. (CFS/ECH176, CFS205, EDU221, EED200, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (CRE), [MA], [SG], [SQ])
  • Identify reciprocal, culturally responsive relationships between early childhood professionals, families and communities. (CFS123, CFS125, COM225, EDU222, EDU230, EED215, EED222, [HU])
  • Develop communication skills necessary to advocate for children and their families. (COM225, EDU221, EDU222, EDU230, EED200, EED222, GCU/POS113, HIS103, POS221, [FYC], [CS], (CRE), [HU])
  • Practice ethical and professional standards and behavior. (EDU221, EDU222, EED200, EED222, GCU/POS113, HIS103, POS221, [FYC], COM225, (CRE), [HU])
  • Advocate for an ethical, equitable, diverse, and effective early childhood education profession. (EDU221, EDU222, EDU230, EED200, EED222, [FYC], COM225, (CRE), [HU])
  • Engage in reflective practice and continuous learning through education and research. (CFS123, CFS125, CFS/ECH176, CFS205, EDU221, EDU222, EDU230, EDU/ENH291, EED200, EED215, EED222, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (CRE), [MA], [SG], [SQ])
  • Develop problem solving skills relevant to early childhood education. (CFS123, CFS125, CFS/ECH176, CFS205, COM225, EDU221, EDU222, EDU230, EDU/ENH291, EED200, EED215, EED222, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (CRE), [HU], [MA], [SG], [SQ])
Career Opportunities
Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
CFS123Health and Nutrition in Early Childhood Settings (1) AND
CFS125Safety in Early Childhood Settings (1) OR
EED215Early Learning: Health, Safety, Nutrition and Fitness (3)2-3
CFS/ECH176Child Development (3) OR
CFS205Human Development (3)3
EDU221Introduction to Education (3) OR
EED200Foundations of Early Childhood Education (3)3
Recommended: EED200
EDU230Cultural Diversity in Education3
Select one of the following US History/Government options. These courses satisfy the United States Constitution requirement for state teacher certification.
GCU/POS113United States and Arizona Social Studies (3) OR
HIS103United States History to 1865 (3) AND
POS221Arizona Constitution (1)3-4
MAT256Investigating Quantity: Number, Operations, and Numerations Systems4
MAT257Investigating Geometry, Probability, and Statistics4
Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC)
AGEC-ACredits: 32-36
A single course with an [L], [HU], [SB], [SG], or [SQ] designation may also be used to satisfy the Oral Communication, Critical Reading, and/or Awareness Area ([C], [G] and/or [H]) requirement(s). See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
First-Year Composition [FYC]Credits: 6
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3) AND
ENG102First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG108First-Year Composition for ESL (3)6
Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L]Credits: 3
COM225Public Speaking3
Mathematics [MA]Credits: 3-6
MAT141College Mathematics (4) OR
MAT142College Mathematics (3) OR
MAT145College Mathematics with Review (5) OR
MAT146College Mathematics with Review (6) OR
MAT150College Algebra/Functions (5) OR
MAT151College Algebra/Functions (4) OR
MAT152College Algebra/Functions (3) OR
MAT155College Algebra/Functions with Review (5) OR
MAT156College Algebra/Functions with Review (6) OR
MAT187Precalculus (5) OR
Higher approved general education course in the Mathematical Applications [MA] area for which MAT15+ is a prerequisite (3-5)3-6
Note: Students must meet one of the following MCCCD prerequisites to take MAT256: Grade of C or better in (MAT150, MAT151, MAT152, MAT155, or MAT156), OR [(MAT120, MAT121, or MAT122) AND (MAT141, MAT142, MAT145, or MAT146)], OR [(MAT141, MAT142, MAT145, or MAT146) with placement that permits enrollment in MAT150, MAT151, MAT152, MAT155, MAT156, or higher].
Computer/Statistics/Quantitative Applications [CS]Credits: 3-4
BPC110Computer Usage and Applications (3) OR
CIS105Survey of Computer Information Systems (3) OR
CSC180Computer Literacy (3) OR
CSC180AAComputer Literacy (3) OR
CSC180ABComputer Literacy (4)3-4
Humanities, Arts and Design [HU]Credits: 6
EDU/ENH291Children`s Literature (3) AND
Any approved general education courses in the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] area (3)6
Recommended: EDU/HUM/STO292 The Art of Storytelling3
Note: EDU230 in Required Courses may be used to meet this requirement if taken Spring 2022 or later.
Social-Behavioral Sciences [SB]Credits: 3
EDU222Introduction to the Exceptional Learner (3) OR
EED222Introduction to the Exceptional Young Child: Birth to Age Eight (3)3
Met by HIS103 OR GCU/POS113 in Required Courses.
Natural Sciences [SG]/[SQ]Credits: 8
Any approved general education course in the Natural Sciences (Quantitative) [SQ] area (4) AND
Any approved general education course in the Natural Sciences (Quantitative) [SQ] area or the Natural Sciences (General) [SG] area (4).8
Awareness AreasCredits: 0
These requirements may be shared with other AGEC requirements. See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
Cultural Diversity in the US [C]Credits: 0
Historical/Global Awareness [H]/[G]Credits: 0
Met by HIS103 OR GCU/POS113 in Required Courses.
MCCCD Additional Requirements
MCCCD Additional RequirementsCredits: 0-3
Some courses in this area have [SB] and [L] designations and may also be applied to the corresponding AGEC requirements. See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
Oral CommunicationCredits: 0
Met by COM225 in Literacy and Critical Inquiry area.
Critical ReadingCredits: 0-3
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment (0)0-3
Course Area Key
General Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
Select additional courses 100-level or higher to complete a minimum of 60 semester credits but no more than a total of 64 semester credits. Consult with a faculty advisor, program director, and/or academic advisor to identify coursework that best aligns with academic and professional goals.

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.