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​Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. ​Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two.

Career Options

Students looking to pursue a career working with young children should consider a formal education program in early childhood education. This highly-specialized degree program covers both basic and advanced topics regarding childhood learning developments, and is even required of some educators to gain employment in related professions.​

Student of Distinction

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Kristin Ustariz Kristin Ustariz

Norco College student Kristin Ustariz was selected as the 2021 Student of Distinction in the discipline of Early Childhood Development. She was nominated by Professors Sarah Burnett and Maria Adams. Hear from Kristin about why she returned to college and her experience at Norco College.

“I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do when I came back to school,” Kristin says of her return to college after seven years. “I knew I wanted to work with kids but I didn't know like to what aspect. And I remember one day just talking in class with Dr. Burnett, and she was talking about different careers, and one just like stuck out to me. Then, that's the path I went on and I started taking my special education classes, and it just completely like reformed my life.”

To read more of Kristin's story, click here​.

Academic Programs in Early Childhood Education

The academic maps below will give you an idea of the classes you need to take. However, please meet with a counselor to personalize your education plan.

​School Trailhead for Social & Behavioral Sciences 
Suggested Initial Coursework​​
Associate of Arts (AA) Degree - Area of Emphasis (AOE)
in Social & Behavioral Sciences - CSU Pathway

Child & Adolescent Development for Transfer (ADT) - Pathways for Transfer to a CSU or UC School
Early Childhood Education for Transfer (ADT) - Pathways for Transfer to a CSU or UC School
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education)
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Education ​Assistant)
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Intervention Assistant)
​​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Twelve Core Units)

Additional Resources

​​What can I do with this major? (Child and Family Studies)
​​​​​Riverside Community College District General Education (RCCD GE) Requirements (PLAN A)​​​​
​​​California State University General Education (CSU GE) Requirements (PLAN B)
For students who would like to transfer to a campus in the California State University (CSU) system
​​​​​Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) Requirements (PLAN C)
For students who would like to transfer to a campus in either the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) system

Contact Information

Sarah Burnett
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​Instructional Department Specialist
Cynthia Acosta
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Admin. Assistant to the Dean
Martha Ramirez
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Full-Time Faculty
Maria Adams
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​Sarah Burnett
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