School of Human and Protective Services

Protective Services Education Building 100
1701 Pearson Street
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 243-5400

Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Early Childhood Education

Associate Degree in Applied Science

Program number: 103071


The Early Childhood Education associate degree program at Madison College prepares you to work as a teacher-caregiver in early childhood settings. It combines hands-on fieldwork in area centers with related academic work at the college. Graduates become responsible for the care and education of children in the birth-to-6 age range. They create and maintain safe and healthy play environments, guide behavior, plan and implement learning activities, and work cooperatively with staff and parents. Success in the field depends on a caring attitude, showing respect for children and adults, flexibility, good judgment, dependability and effective communication skills.

Prior to taking ECE: Practicum 1, you must show evidence of a physical examination including TB test using the State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Staff Health Report - Child Care Provider Form and must complete a Background Information Disclosure and Criminal History Check (CHC) prior to placement in the Early Childhood Education Practicum courses. Information obtained from the CHC may affect your ability to secure a practicum placement.

Travel to fieldwork sites is necessary and is your responsibility.

Some courses in the program involve preparation of learning materials, field trips, etc. that may involve additional expenses.

The Wisconsin Early Childhood Association offers credit for prior learning. To learn how your experience could count toward your degree contact the program director.

Program Details

Early Childhood Education is on a career pathway that includes this associate degree, a technical diploma, an infant and toddler certificate and a preschool certificate. All will prepare you for a good job and with the associate degree, you can transfer to another college to earn your bachelor’s degree. Learn at your own pace and increase your earning potential with credentials that keep you moving on your career path.

Students in Early Childhood Education can attend full or part time.

Early Childhood Education classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Downtown (through Spring 2019)
  • Madison - South

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program.

Some of the courses for this program may be available online.

Early Childhood Education


To Apply

After Acceptance

Once you are admitted into your program, review the Start of Semester Checklist to prepare for your first day of classes at MATC. 


Contact the Enrollment Center at or (608) 246-6210.



Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2018-2019 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

  • Progress toward your specific requirements
  • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


Madison College Early Childhood Education graduates are prepared to:

  • Apply child development theory to practice.
  • Cultivate relationships with children, family and the community.
  • Assess child growth and development.
  • Use best practices in teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrate professionalism.
  • Integrate health, safety, and nutrition practices.

Earning your associate degree in the Early Childhood Education program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for valuable work as:

  • Child Care Teachers
    Work in full-day and part-day child care programs, nursery schools and Head Start programs.
  • Child Care Assistant Teachers
    Work under the supervision of a child care teacher.
  • Family Child Care Providers
    Care for eight children or less in provider's home.
  • Infant or Toddler Caregivers
    Care for children under two years of age.
  • In-home Providers/Nannies
    Provide care in the child's home.
  • Early Childhood Educational Assistants
    Work in public school early childhood programs, and public school four-years-olds' programs.
  • Early Childhood Special Needs Assistants
    Work in public school special needs early childhood programs, and public school four-years-olds' programs.
  • Directors/Administrators
    Are responsible for managing day care centers and planning and implementing program.

Find open jobs in this industry on Wisconsin TechConnecttm. Registration Required.

  • Estimated Program Cost
    # of Credits for Completion
    Materials/Supplemental Costs
    Other Costs
    Total Program Costs:
  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2015 2016 2017
    Number of Program Graduates 26 28 31
    Number of Surveys Sent 26 27 31
    Number of Surveys Returned 20 23 16
    Percent of Surveys Returned 76.90% 85.20% 51.60%
    Available for Employment 18 23 16
    Percent Available for Employment 90.00% 100.00% 100.00%
    Not in Labor Market 2 0 0
    Percent Not in Labor Market 10.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Available for Employment

    2015 2016 2017
    Graduates Employed 17 22 16
    Percent of Graduates Employed 94.40% 95.70% 100.00%
    Employed in Related Occupation 16 22 16
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 94.10% 100.00% 100.00%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 1 0 0
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 5.90% 0.00% 0.00%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 1 1 0
    Percent Seeking Employment 5.60% 4.30% 0.00%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2015 2016 2017
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.9 3.8 3.5
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 20 23 16
    Very Satisfied 18 18 10
    Percent Very Satisfied 90.00% 78.30% 62.50%
    Satisfied 2 5 5
    Percent Satisfied 10.00% 21.70% 31.30%
    Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 1
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 6.30%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2015 2016 2017
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 20 23 16
    Preparation for Getting a Job 5 8 9
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 25.00% 34.80% 56.30%
    Career Change 3 2 2
    Percent Career Change 15.00% 8.70% 12.50%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 3 5 3
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 15.00% 21.70% 18.80%
    Preparation for Further Education 6 5 2
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 30.00% 21.70% 12.50%
    Personal Interest 3 3 0
    Percent Personal Interest 15.00% 13.00% 0.00%
    Other 0 0 0
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2015 2016 2017
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 17 22 16
    Before Enrollment 3 7 4
    Percent Before Enrollment 17.60% 31.80% 25.00%
    While Attending the College 8 8 4
    Percent While Attending the College 47.10% 36.40% 25.00%
    After Training at the College 6 7 8
    Percent After Training at the College 35.30% 31.80% 50.00%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2015 2016 2017
    Number of Employment Location Responses 17 22 16
    In College District 15 18 14
    Percent In College District 88.20% 81.80% 87.50%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 0 1 0
    Percent of In Wisconsin 0.00% 4.50% 0.00%
    Outside of Wisconsin 1 1 2
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 5.90% 4.50% 12.50%
    Employer Location Unknown 1 2 0
    Percent Location Unknown 5.90% 9.10% 0.00%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2015 2016 2017
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 11 17 9
    Average Monthly Wage $2,296 $2,299 $2,480
    Average Hourly Wage $13.35 $13.37 $14.42
    Average Work Hours per Week 40.9 39.4 42.3
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 4 1 4
    Average Hourly Wage $11.80 $120.01 $15.09
    Average Work Hours per Week 26.2 25 24.8
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2017
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 339 1,074
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 471 1,275
    Total Jobs 810 2,349
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2017
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Bright Horizons Preschool Teacher
    Bright Horizons Support Teacher
    Brilliant Beginnings Teacher Waunakee
    Goddard School Infant Teacher Cave Creek AZ
    Here We Grow Learning Center Left Blank Fitchburg
    It's All About Love Childcare Director Sun Prairie
    Kiddie Academy Teacher Fontana CA
    Madison Area Technical College Child Care Specialist
    Meriter Childrens Center Early Childhood Teacher
    Private Individuals Nanny Middleton
    Red Caboose Day Care Childcare Teacher
    The Tree House Fcc Self-Employed Licensed Child Care Provider Pardeeville

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

    *** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

    **** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at