Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Why ECE?

The Early Childhood Education program includes both theory and hands-on practice to help you deepen your understanding of child development. As an ECE student you'll study the dynamic processes that drive children's learning and development within the context of the family and in early care and school environments.

Strong Support for Students

Most ECE classes are held in the evening since many ECE students work full time and many are raising young families themselves.

The ECE Department has consistently served Latinx students in our community. Over the past six years, more than half of the ECE student population has been Latinx. Cabrillo's ECE Spanish-to-English program, begun over 20 years ago, is dedicated to serving Latinx students who are dual-language learners. Our success with this program has earned us local, state, and national recognition.

Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School

The on-site Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School (CCCC&LS), an integral part of the ECE Department, offers child care services on campus for children 5 months old to five years of age, and also in our own network of family child care homes, for children zero to five years of age, located in both mid and south county. While caring for the children of Cabrillo students and staff, the CCCC&LS provides instructional and laboratory experiences for our Cabrillo ECE students.

To complete supervised student teaching at the CCCC&LS students should enroll in ECE 54 Practicum for a total of 4 units. The Student Teaching Practicum requires spending two mornings teaching in one of the Cabrillo College Children's Center & Lab School classrooms, followed by a seminar at the end of each lab class, and a bi-weekly seminar.

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Family Child Care

Family Child Care Providers are small business owners who provide care for young children in their homes. The Early Childhood Education Department provides training and education for Family Child Care Providers by focusing on the unique needs of family childcare, as well as those of center-based care throughout the ECE curriculum.

Many of the 400+ Family Child Care Providers in Santa Cruz County have their AS Degrees or Certificates in Early Childhood Education from Cabrillo College. Many other Family Child Care Providers and people considering becoming providers take courses in the ECE Department.


Successful Outcomes

ECE faculty are deeply committed to student success. This dedication, and our collaborative partnerships in the community, lends itself to our students' success.

During 2012-2017, the ECE student success rate averaged 83%, almost 9% higher than the Cabrillo College overall average.

HASS_ECE Program planning Data from PRO


During the same time period, ECE overall completion rate was 92% compared to the College's 88% completion rate,

HASS_ECE Program planning Data from PRO

Review the Steps for Registration

The Program Brochure