Early Learning and Development

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Early Learning and Development program is designed to prepare individuals to enter the workforce as Early Childhood Professionals and to assist individuals employed in the field to upgrade and expand their skills. The program emphasizes the roles of early care and education professionals, families and the wider society as they together meet the contemporary needs of young children. Course work includes the principles of developmental science, professionalism in early childhood work, philosophies and methods of early learning, and the impact of standards on practice. To apply planning, management and evaluation skills, students will observe, participate, and intern in state licensed early childhood programs.


Major Code: 
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Total credits required: 
Award notes

Students must earn a grade of "C" or better in all courses within the program.

Program prerequisites
Course #Course TitleCredits
Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
ECH128Early Learning: Play and the Arts3
EED200Foundations of Early Childhood Education3
EED212Guidance, Management and the Environment3
EED215Early Learning: Health, Safety, Nutrition and Fitness3
EED220Child, Family, Community and Culture3
EED222Introduction to the Exceptional Young Child: Birth to Age Eight3
EED245Early Learning: Language Acquisition and Literacy Development3
EED255Portfolio Development and Writing for the Profession3
EED260Early Childhood Infant/Toddler Internship1
EED261Early Childhood Preschool Internship1
EED278Early Learning: Curriculum and Instruction - Birth/Preschool3
EED280Standards, Observation and Assessment of Typical/Atypical Behaviors of Young Children Birth to Age Eight3
Restricted Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
Students must complete one of the following Blocks:
Block One: Infant and Toddler Development:
ITD200The Physical Child: Birth to Age Three3
ITD210Early Attachments, Relationships and Families: Birth to Age Three3
ITD220Cognition and Communication: Birth to Age Three3
Block Two: Family Child Care Management:
CFS163Family Child Care: Introduction to Business Management3
CFS164Family Child Care: Curriculum and Environment3
CFS207Organization and Community Leadership in Child and Family Organizations3
Block Three: Early Childhood Business Management:
CFS206Child and Family Organizations: Management and Administration3
CFS207Organization and Community Leadership in Child and Family Organizations3
CFS208Child and Family Organizations: Fiscal Management and Grant Writing3
Block Four: Any CFS, ECH, EED, ITD or FCS prefixed courses not listed in the Required Courses area9
CFS+++++Any CFS Child/Family Studies course(s)1-9
ECH+++++Any ECH Early Childhood Education course(s) except courses used to satisfy Required Courses area.1-9
EED+++++Any EED Early Education course(s) except courses used to satisfy Required Courses area.1-9
ITD+++++Any ITD Infant/Toddler Development course(s)1-9
FCS+++++Any FCS Family and Consumer Science course(s)1-9
General education requirements
General Education RequirementCredits: 22-27
General Education CoreCredits: 12-17
First-Year CompositionCredits: 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
Oral CommunicationCredits: 3
Any approved general education course in the Oral Communication area.3
Critical ReadingCredits: 0-3
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment.0-3
MathematicsCredits: 3-5
Any approved general education course in the Mathematics area.3-5
General Education DistributionCredits: 10
Humanities and Fine ArtsCredits: 3
Any approved general education course in the Humanities, Arts and Design area.3
Social and Behavioral SciencesCredits: 3
CFS/ECH176Child Development (3) OR
EED205The Developing Child: Prenatal to Age Eight (3) OR
CFS235Developing Child: Theory into Practice, Prenatal - Age 8 (3)3
Natural SciencesCredits: 4
Any approved general education course in the Natural Sciences area.4
  • Explain the importance of play, creativity and the arts in contemporary early childhood programs, and how they support early learning. (ECH128)
  • Demonstrate planning, management and evaluation skills related to developmentally appropriate play, arts, and learning activities. (ECH128, EED261)
  • Review the emerging professionalism of the field of early childhood education, including a code of ethical conduct. (EED200)
  • Identify theories, standards, and public policy within the field and describe how these influence early childhood programs. (EED200)
  • Describe how developmental characteristics, individual needs, adult expectations and cultural contexts influence the behavior of children from birth through age eight. (EED212)
  • 6 Describe policies, practices and regulations which ensure the health and safety of young children in group settings. (EED215)
  • Describe the nutritional needs of young children from birth on and explain how these needs are met with food selection, food preparation, and daily eating/feeding routines. (EED215)
  • Explain how community diversity and demographics influence early childhood programs, professionals, and the young children and families served. (EED220)
  • Identify appropriate professional responses that ensure the social and emotional well-being of young children including identification of child maltreatment. (EED220)
  • Describe the process of identification, referral and assessment of young children whose development differs from the average. (EED222)
  • Identify strategies for inclusion, instruction, and support for the exceptional young child within the contexts of family, community and early childhood programs. (EED222)
  • Describe how young children develop language, literacy and writing skills and how adults support literacy development. (EED245)
  • 13 Construct a portfolio which demonstrates professional development over time in a variety of dimensions, including professional writing samples. (EED255)
  • Contrast current approaches to curriculum for young learners and explain how state standards relate to curriculum and instruction. (EED278)
  • Identify multiple assessment procedures, their strengths, weaknesses and relationship to early learning standards. (ECH128, EED278, EED280)
  • Apply professional knowledge, skills and ethics of the early childhood profession to early learning settings in the community. (EED200, EED260, EED261)
  • Explain how Arizona Learning Standards are applied within programs serving children three to five and five to eight years of age. (EED280)

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate information about this degree or certificate. However, the information above represents current requirements for the academic year and may change as the result of the curricular process. This course list 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.