To successfully complete the Early Childhood Education Program and earn the ECE certificate from Santa Monica College, it is recommended that you take the classes in the appropriate order. 
Foundation classes:
Psychology 11: Child Growth and Development
Early Childhood Education 2: Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
After the above classes have been completed with a “C” or better, take the courses below- no particular order required:
Early Childhood Education 11: Child, Family and Community
Select two (2) of the following:
Early Childhood Education 4: Language and Literature for the Young Child
Early Childhood Education 5: Math and Science for the Young Child
Early Childhood Education 8: Creative Experiences - Art, Music and Movement
Early Childhood Education 17: Introduction to Curriculum
Early Childhood Education 64: Health, Safety and  Nutrition for Young Children
Early Childhood Education 45:  Children with Special Needs

Early Childhood Education 21
: Observation and Assessment
(Plan to be a “student teacher” one morning per week, 3 hours per day.  Note that you must have completed Psych 11, ECE 2 and ECE 11 and one of the curriculum classes before enrolling in ECE 21)
The last course to take after all others are completed with a “C” or better is:
Early Childhood Education 22: ECE Field Experience
(Plan to be a “student teacher” two mornings per week.  <3hrs/day>)
If you are considering transferring to a four-year college, please review the general AA requirements and the requirements specific to the college you will attend.  It is important to talk with the transfer/ academic counselors here at SMC and with the department at the college where you would like to transfer.
Human Dev. 20- Student Success Seminar
  • Save examples of your work from each class for the ECE 22 Professional Portfolio.
  • “Student teaching (ECE 21and 22)” must be done at two different, approved locations.


The SMC ECE Certificate is NOT the same as the California Child Development Permit.  Many early childhood education program employers require their employees to have a valid and current CA Child Development Permit.  Each person is required to apply for this permit independantly.  Merely completing the permit required courses at SMC does not mean one holds a CA Child Development Permit.  For more information about the permit, click on the link below.