Education & Scholarships

Child outcomes can improve when the quality of early learning programs and teacher skill and education levels are supported. In Washington, the professional development system helps early learning professionals choose a program that best fits their needs and get supports to achieve academic goals.

Plan Your Career on the Career Planning Portal

If you’re thinking about becoming an early learning professional or wondering how to build your skills in early childhood education, the Early Childhood Education Career Planning Portal can help you:

  • Learn about careers and career pathways in early childhood education
  • Find a Certificate, Associate, or Bachelor’s degree program
  • Get contact information to connect with the college’s Point of Contact to schedule an advising appointment with someone from the Early Childhood Education department.
  • Learn about money to pay for college and how to apply

Early Childhood Education Stackable Certificates

The Early Childhood Education Stackable Certificates build on one-another and can lead into an Associate degree in early childhood education and beyond. The ECE Stackable Certificates are offered at community colleges throughout the state, and is the starting point in Washington to begin a career in early learning.

stackable certificates

How can I get support with paying for college?

Child care providers employed at a program that participates in Early Achievers, Washington’s child care quality rating and improvement system, may receive benefits for being a part of Early Achievers. DCYF has two scholarship programs available.

Early Achievers Grants help employed child care providers and early learning educators complete certificates and associate degrees in early childhood education. 

Child Care Aware of Washington scholarships support early learning educators to complete Bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education or a similar approved field or a Montessori Credential at a MACTE approved academy.