Early Childhood Education

Students Learn Through Teaching with Triton’s Early Childhood Education Program

Students enrolled in Triton College’s Early Childhood Education Lab School Program begin caring for kids in a real childcare setting almost immediately. That’s what sets Triton apart from many other colleges in the area. Very few early childhood education programs offer a lab-school component, especially at the community college level.

“From the first intro classes and throughout the entire program, students are working with children in the NAEYC accredited childcare center on campus” said Mary Ann Olson, chairperson of the Education Department at Triton College.

As one of the institution’s longest running programs, Triton has been preparing students to provide nurturing care to young children for decades. Future childcare professionals receive expert instruction from Triton faculty members, all of whom have experience working in the field. Courses focusing on child development, health and safety, creating activities and working with students with disabilities are included in the curriculum, along with many others.

Program completers leave Triton with a Level 4 credential from Gateways to Opportunities - Illinois’ early childhood professional development organization. That means they can begin working in a preschool immediately. A number of other credentials are available as well.

"In addition to the Early Childhood Credential, credentialing is available in infant and toddler care as well as to become director qualified," said Early Childhood Education faculty member Ally Miller.

For students wishing to continue their education, Triton has a number of guaranteed transfer agreements in place with nearby four-year colleges and universities. This allows students to seamlessly transfer credits to earn a bachelor’s degree and state licensure.

Triton even offers high school students an opportunity to get a head start on their path to becoming early childhood educators. Dual credit agreements are in place for Leyden high schools, Proviso high schools, and Oak Park River Forest High School.

For more information on Triton College’s Early Childhood Education Lab School Program, contact Mary Ann Olson at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3762 - maryannolson@triton.edu or Ayelet Miller at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3989 or ayeletmiller@triton.edu.

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Job Outlook

Preschool Teacher, Projected Job Growth:
10 percent growth by 2026, faster than average for all occupations.

Childcare Center Director, Projected Job Growth:
11 percent growth by 2026, faster than average for all occupations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics